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‘Home Improvement’ star on Hollywood, COVID-19: ‘Separate the 1 percent ... from the 99 percent that represents the hardworking, everyday Americans’

He's not wrong

"Home Improvement" actor Zachery Bryan (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

"Home Improvement" actor Zachery Bryan wrote an op-ed for Fox News in which he highlighted the plight of Hollywood's working-class families and the impact COVID-19 is having on them.

What are the details?

In the op-ed, titled "Zachery Bryan: Coronavirus has hit Hollywood's working class families, too — and they're worried," Bryan pointed out that he understands Americans feel Hollywood is out of touch with the rest of America.

"Like me," he began, "you probably saw the video compilation of celebrities singing John Lennon's 'Imagine' in response to the global pandemic. Of course, in very quick fashion the video was parodied as people reacted against another example of an out-of-touch Hollywood."

Bryan added that Americans are jaded by celebrities who make "shallow gestures" toward average Americans in times of need and disaster.

The 38-year-old actor and producer went on to detail a recent conversation with a friend.

"[S]he expressed concern that if the coronavirus shutdown goes on too long, they won't be able to make their monthly housing payment," he wrote. "It was a reminder that Hollywood, just like the rest of the country, is filled with support and service work positions. Jobs that you can't do from home. Like millions of others, these are the folks that run the risk of suffering the most from the economic fallout of COVID-19."

Bryan said that he was afforded a wonderful opportunity — and perspective — in Hollywood while working as a child actor and later working behind the scenes as a producer.

"Although I saw firsthand the elitist and cutthroat nature of Hollywood that it's known for, I've also had the opportunity to work with some amazing people," he insisted. "They are everyday Americans who come from all over the country to pursue their dreams in entertainment.

"These people," he continued, "are the engine that makes Hollywood run.

"While A-list celebrities can't help using their award show speeches to mock anyone that doesn't hold to their elitist views, the dirty little secret is that they represent the elite 1 percent of Hollywood," he revealed. "The rest of the people in the entertainment industry are everyday folks living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to make a living wage."

Your average Joe

Bryan said that though Hollywood will always be Hollywood, he feels it's important not to overlook the regular folks in Hollywood during this time of crisis in the U.S. and abroad and dismiss them as one might shrug off more higher-profile Hollywood players.

"It's a great privilege for me, as someone who came from middle America, to create alongside those who work hard to care for their families and pursue their dreams," he continued. "These are the men and women who come in at dawn and are still there hours after dusk when the celebrities and their entourages have left."

He added, "Like Americans in any other industry, they are the backbone of Hollywood, the ones who make sure things get done."

Bryan added that he empathizes with people who are turned off by some celebrities and their "political statements" and "tone-deaf actions."

"I do, too," he admitted. "But please be sure to separate the 1 percent of Hollywood from the 99 percent that represents the hardworking, everyday Americans who, like everyone else across this amazing country, are scared about losing their job, figuring out how to provide for their family and cheering on all the people who are at battle with this unseen enemy."

One last thing…
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