A Republican political candidate’s gay “porn” past is coming back to haunt him.
Antonio Sabàto Jr. is a former actor turned political hopeful. He, along with several other Republicans, is currently running for U.S. Congress against incumbent Democrat Rep. Julia Brownley in California’s 26th district.
45-year-old Sabàto is best known (we use that term loosely here) for being a Calvin Klein model back in the ’90s and for his bit roles on shows like Melrose Place, General Hospital, and other daytime soap operas. He’s also dabbled in reality TV. And in 2013, he was the spokesman for AnastasiaDate, an international online dating site that connects North American men with women from Eastern Europe.
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All that is fine and dandy, right? Republicans have no problem nominating and voting for a “family values” candidate with reality shows like Celebrity Wife Swap on their resumes and who’ve made money off the mail-order bride industry. It’s part of what qualifies them for the job!
But it’s some of Sabàto’s other work that has folks unnerved.
In the early 2000s, he appeared in a number of gay themed films. His first was in 2003’s Testosterone where he played Pablo, a gay Argentine who disappears under mysterious circumstances. He spends half the movie in his underwear and even gets fully naked at one point:
He also appeared in 2005’s Deadly Skies, a made-for-TV piece of shit about an Air Force officer dismissed under the the homophobic “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. In it, Sabàto once against gets naked and has a graphic (by 2005 standards) gay sex scene with his boyfriend:
Oh, and then there was this mildly homoerotic underwear wrestling scene he appear in in 1996’s Codename: Wolverine:
But before you start salivating, you should know that Sabàto is a major Trump supporter who believes that President Obama is secretly a Muslim and that Christian prayer should be required in all public schools.
Not so hot anymore, is he?
Now, his opponents are trying to use his gay-for-pay past to ruin his chances of ever being elected.
Jeffrey Burum, who is running against Sabàto in the Republican primary, described the movies as “pornography” and said Sabàto should suspend his campaign immediately for spitting in the face of “family values.”
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“His behavior is inconsistent with anything I would want from a congressional leader,” Burum said. “It’s also inconsistent with a party which has always favored traditional family values, which do not include porn.”
This prompted Sabàto to issue the following response:
I’ve done many movies. I’ve done things I’m proud of and things I’m not so proud of, that’s just the way any actor works. They don’t know what kind of congressman I’ll be, the work ethic I have.
Hang on to your hats, folks. We have a feeling this is going to get real messy real quick!
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What a shock, Republicans attacking him for being in a gay themed movie.
It’s irrelevant since they aren’t going to win in that district, but have fun.
“His behavior… is inconsistent with a party which has always favored traditional family values, which do not include porn.”
It sounds like Jeffrey Burum is stuck in some long-past era when a sentence like this wouldn’t illicit hysterical laughter.
What he means is candidate Saboto starred in some films as a fag*ot. Vote for me because I represent “traditional GOP family values”. It’s a battle of who is the biggest POS.
It’s always a race to the bottom when Republicans are fighting for the same seat.
I see nothing wrong with the roles that Antonio has done – and lest’s be honest NONE of them were porn. Yes he did play gay characters and appeared nude. MY problem is, after going to his website recently and seeing all the derogatory comments he made of President Obama, and the constant belittling comments addressed to “snowflakes”, made me loose any respect for him. I had signed photos of him on my autograph wall for years. But his comments made him VERY unattractive and took them down. No need to be a tool Antonio!
Instead of telling him to fu*k off. I have no apologies to make. Instead he gives a wimp out explanation.. “I’ve done things I’m proud of and things I’m not so proud of.”
So he’s hugely recognizable, not homophobic and probably comes with a sizeable fan-base of sci-fi nerds, soap fans and gays. This is clearly the guy the other Republicans have to worry about running against. Trying to cast his acting roles as pornographic just comes off as desperate.
Agreed…are we to make a criticism of actors playing gay roles ? Some refuse in case it rebounds on them … it’s as if we think there’s something wrong with him ..??
I mean wrong with him apart from the toxic waste he spouts as a Trump supporter…
As a Trump supporter, Sabàto cannot be characterized as “not homophobic.” At the very least, he tolerates and supports those who promote homophobia.
Sabato was “not homophobic” once upon a time. Now he votes against our rights.
Voting for Trump doesn’t make you homophobic. Plenty of gays voted for him too.
I’m not going to get into a debate with you about Trump. I have been aware of Sabato Jr’s politics since before Trump ran. Its not just about Trump. I didn’t mention Trump.
Voting for Trump doesn’t make a person homophobic. It shows they have questionable judgement. I remember the gay people who were Trump supporters. They didn’t want to listen to the rest of us.
They were smarter than us. Where are they now?
According to almost all polls that covered such things, 12-15% of gay people voted for trump. That is at least 10% fewer than usually vote Republican. That is hardly “plenty”. It is at best “some”, most accurately, “a few”.
Overwhelmingly we are less likely to vote in opposition to our own self-interest than the general population is (and as we all know fewer than half of those who voted chose trump).
I used to have such a big crush on Antonia Sabato. I remember one time they had him for a autograph signing at Macy’s. The whole store was filled up with people waiting to get his signature on their underwear purchase. Lol
Oh my God I think I was there on the same day ! It was that the Macy’s in Century City in Los Angeles . It was pretty obvious that day that his fans were women and gay man . Way to alienate your Fanbase Antonio ! Guess he didn’t learn anything from Cher and Donna Summer
“Traditional family values” doesn’t include divorce either. Which means I suppose that Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump should have been drummed out of the party for failing to live up to Barum’s morality code.
Or the whole preying on underage girls of traditional family values guy Roy Moore that a lot of the Republican Party including Trump rallied around.
Reagan only had one divorce. Presidential Trump changes wives every few years. He’s in pre-production of his next divorce. I doubt Melania will stay with him after he goes back to his private life.
Oh gawwwd, not another deeply closeted self-loathing homosexual Republican shithead.
That’s laughable. So he did a few nude scenes? So did Arnold Schwarzenegger (and he became the Governor of California). Gay themed flicks? How about shaming Armie Hammer, Jake Gillenhall or Antonio Bandares. Come on Queerty…You’re grasping at straws.
The “shaming” is coming from a GOP politician, not Queerty.
Did you actually read the article?
OYR never reads the story it just whines about queerty.
Gotta love how it’s not Democrats attacking Sabato, who’s turned out to be right-wing nut, but his fellow sanctimonious, homophobic and hypocritical RepubliCons. Devour yourselves, monsters.
Your efforts to try to downplay his fame as a homo-erotic icon from the 90s is rather pathetic.
While I think he’s a vile person for what he has said/written, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t many a gay boy of age in the 90s who didn’t drool over his photos.
Stick to reporting; otherwise, label these writings as editorials.
The author probably wasn’t born in the 90s – or is too young to remember them.
For those over 35, Sabato Jr. is/was very famous for modelling men’s underwear.
That being said, if you are a “journalist” you should (at the bare minimum) google your topic.
I would laughably call Antonio‘s acting efforts a career . He was thought of mostly as a pretty boy and gay spank bank material . He never really was taken seriously .
Well I certainly don’t care about the gay themed movies; it’s his political views that are offensive.
Exactly. Following the no sense rhetoric of Trump about Obama, and all the other crap Trump stands for is offensive. What he did was get his kit off a lot in some pretty ropey movies, the kind of thing actors who can’t really act do all the time. No porn by any stretch of the imagination, unlike his political views as Woody says!
Sorry, but this is terrible on queerty’s part.
First, he was one of the biggest icons of the 90s… Don’t play dumb.
Second, all he is being attacked for is doing nudes. I didn’t see mention of specific movies or roles to indicate playing a gay role is the issue here.
Either way, if you hear the guy speak, then yeah he’s a douche. But that has nothing to do with anything in the article.
I think you missed the point . Its The Republicans that are calling his films gay pornography. It’s laughable for two reasons one because they’re not pornography and two because you could barely call Antonios acting efforts a career . He was never a great actor he was mostly just spank bank material .
paul dorian lord fredine
‘biggest icons’? that’s a laugh. he was little more than the pretty boy du jour. he certainly wasn’t and never will be known for his acting. but now he can add douche bag trumper right along with scott baiu and kevin sorbo.
@paul obviously he was mostly a hunk, nobody said otherwise. And surely nobody is saying he should have won any oscars.
But he was exceedingly a big name in the hunk department. Don’t forget that was a time where they only started to push male models forward and he was one of the big first names of the times.
However, the point that is being raised, presumably is that he did porn. While I would hardly call what he did porn – especially since those movies were made by Here! who did stuff like Dante’s cove and The Lair – those I would call porn – rather than that he took a gay role.
As someone else here said, Arnold did nudes and they chose him as governor.
Biggest? Not the way I remember the time.
So an actor pretending to be gay is worse than Trump and Roy Moore for the family values crowd? Oh, that’s right. Their family values leaders get standing ovations in church for using their positions in the church to coerce teen girls into sex.
I don’t like his politics, but this is ridiculous.
I can’t stand people of the left.. And I cannot stand silly all caps “Christian” social conservatives… Both are beyond pathetic, dangerous, and fake.
These days those are really the only two options on the table in America.
How “the land of the free” is so enslaved to (and paralyzed by) such a grotesque two-party sham is one of the great ironies of the modern world.
I’ll vote for Sabato. The last thing California (or our country) needs is another Democrat. (Of course if Sabato were a Democrat, the wretched left would be saying “Don’t you dare knock the guy, you homophobes.”
There are plenty of red state “utopias” for you to live in. Might I suggest Mississippi?
So you live in coastal Ventura County?
California has obviously done quite well as a blue state, thank you (even orange county is turning blue). What world are you living in exactly?
And it is the republican idiots who are tearing Sabato down. Queerty is simply relating the clown show, or was the prose too hard for you to understand?
Sabato had more than a “bit role” on GENERAL HOSPITAL. He was a leading man on the show for 3 years. He also went on to be featured in many popular primetime shows…ALLY MCBEAL, SCRUBS, CHARMED, CSI, UGLY BETTY. He also starred in a VH1 series. Many actors would love to have half the credits Sabato has. Not sure why the need to downplay his career. It might not be the level of Meryl Streep, but he has been a working actor for over 25 years.
Male Republican christian slut!
Yeah, he’s STRAIGHT. Straight as the YELLOW BRICK ROAD!
Yep. He used to travel a very well known male Hollywood stylist
Absolutely ABSURD!!!!!!!……Straight actors have played gay characters for years. Look at Jake Gillingham and Heath Ledger in ‘Brokeback Mountain’. EXCUSE ME!!!! Only MORONS don’t get that.
1st, I lost any respect I had for Sabato ever since he supported Trump heavily; however, the writer of this “article” needs to do his research. His part on General Hospital was NOT a bit part. He was a contract player involved in some major story lines when he was on the show.
Antonio was initially famous for his appearance and Janet Jackson’s video. The soaps in the Calvin Klein fame followed. He was never a great actor. Calling his acting efforts a career is laughable. When the 90s ended so did Antonio’s appeal. No one is going to take yesterday‘s trophy boy seriously. Sadly if he hadn’t alienated his gay following he might have a chance of actually winning an election.
I fell in love with him when he was on that cancelled sci-fi series in the 90’s Earth 2. His acting was subpar, but he was always beautiful to look at.
I agree with all of this. It is disappointing when an actor-Yes I’m looking at you Dean Cain and Kevin Sorbo- take roles that seem to support LGBT characters and causes and then turn around like let’s crush all your 90s dreams I’m actually a rabid Trump supporter! It’s like WTF!!!
Adult film is a reference to pornography, and he was never in an adult film. Isn’t that headline libelous?
I didn’t realize that was Antonio Sabato, Jr. from the pics above. I guess his face has filled out some. I was a fan of his in his Calvin Klein modeling days and he was famously in Janet Jackson’s “Love Will Never Do” video. Sad what’s become of him.
So Donald “Tiny hands” Trump paid hush money to a sex worker, and not a single republican made a peep about it, but this guy makes couple of appearances here and there, its called porn?
It makes me wonder what would of happened if it was Obama, we discover, paid off a sex worker to not disclose, admit that he ordered her services?
It’s people in Sabato’s party, the GOP, NOT liberals, who are attacking him.
Is this so hard to grasp?
Sabato is a RepubliCon. The RepubliCons are attacking him. NOT Democrats. NOT liberals! No Democrats or liberals give a flying f*ck that he played gay roles, was in homoerotic videos, etc. None!
Also, the GOP attacked Obama on everything. Tan suits, occasional golfing, you name it. Yet they remain silent as the Racist Treasonous Moronic Con Man spends 1/3rd–one third!–of his first year golfing and lollygagging. He’s told more than 2000 lies, he’s alienated US allies, he changes his positions by the day, he’s tried to obstruct Congressional and FBI investigations into a foreign attack on the US, he empowers homophobes, and yet the GOP mostly remains silent. They’re beyond hypocritical, and the “gay” ones among them are beyond the pale.
@Kangol That sounds like a really entertaining movie you’re watching. Is it on Netflix?
This family values crap started with republicans in the Reagan administration. It’s sounds like some of nancy’s bu**shit. Reagan switched to republican when nancy twisted his arm and shoved her stinky lysol smelly pood,in his face to make him her slave. But it’s a joke now. There are more slu**y hypocritical republicans out there than the true humanitarian liberals. Conservatives need to stop this family values hypocrisy once and for all. I just read they’re creating a department for doctors and nurses to refuse medical carefor religious reasons now in this administration (sounds like pence sh** to me). Trying to make America a theocracy.
Ronnie was awfully chatty with McCarthy’s little gathering.
First, they tell us it’s unconscionable to judge an actor for playing a homosexual.
Now, they’re telling us we must judge an actor for playing a homosexual.
And liberals wonder why they’re called hypocrites.
WTF are you talking about? Its the “liberals” you are attacking for this? Did you READ the article? Its not “liberals” or Democrats who are trying to use this against him, its the other *Republicans* who want the same nomination. Pay attention! Now that you know this, will you criticize those Republicans? Because I highly doubt that you will even though you just accused “liberals” of hypocrisy.
You’re confused. His Republican opponent is saying he must be judged for playing a homosexual. Your right-wing mind is warped, but that is no surprise.
I see Bro-Mo-troll has burrowed down out of sight after being thoroughly biotch slapped on this bit of nonsense.
It’s your RepubliCon party that’s attacking him, Mo-Bro-dy. Clearly you need help with reading and everything else.
I used to have the biggest crush on earth on this guy when I was a teenager. Lusting after him actually got me through some tough times in my teens. I was disappointed when I discovered years ago that he now consistently votes against LGBT rights and “isn’t proud of” his gay roles.
That doesn’t stop him from trying to exploit his gay male following though. Just a year or two ago or so he was advertising his clothing line on Facebook and had selected “LGBT” as a target for the ads. It irritated me at the time. I won’t buy his damned clothes when he wants to see my rights curtailed. F*** him. He deserves knowing what its like to be the target of homophobia. Its poetic justice.
Sabato has always been a bit of a douche personally – he was a political conservative for his entire life. I remember when he did Testosterone. My husband thought it was hilarious because of the scenes in Buenos Aires. All common touristy areas for the main part. Also the premise of the rich Argentine gay guy whose parents do not care he is gay so long as he is properly married to a woman and presents them with an heir to the family. That’s just the way things are done there, may as well question why you breathe air.
He always been the type that wanted the approval of those racist white trash republicans. It’s just a shame because with his heritage Donald Trump don’t want him or anyone else in this country with his background
I too don’t care about his work. It’s not porn. In the same way I don’t care that Melania posed nude or Trump having affairs, I don’t care what anyone does in their personal life. The point to me is he’s delusional. He doesn’t respect Separation of Church and State. To use his appearing in gay themed film against him, as a gay, liberal, atheist I find that hypocritical. Go after him, because he’s incompetent.
Tell that to the other GOPers that are bringing this up.
Just to clear up one thing about Antonio Sabáto, Jr. It’s commonly thought that he is Latinx/Hispanic, but he is actually Italian, born in Rome, Italy, of Sicilian descent (and thus of mixed ancestry, like most Sicilians), and his mother is Czech, and the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, making her Jewish, and thus he is Jewish. On top of this, he is an immigrant, yet supports a party and administration that is virulently anti-immigrant (unless you are from Northern Europe or very rich), and that coddles anti-Semites. It’s beyond ironic, really.
I used to think he was the most beautiful man who ever lived. Now I despise him.
Me, too! I tell everyone that his appearance in Janet Jackson’s “Love Will Never Do (Without You)” video solidified me being gay. He was the most beautiful guy I had ever seen.
apart from my disappointment that he’s a republican, it was an movie role, badly acted, but still he was engaged to ‘act’ the role, nothing whatsoever porn as the descriptor states.
If it were just one gay orientated movie that he made maybe he was just a gay for pay actor. For him to have made a couple of them pretty much says it all. It’s accurate to say that Sabato swings both ways. While he’s praising his boy Trump and still complaining about Obama Sabato is probably getting it up the ying yeah. Personally I think he’s full of ego and was always a second rate actor.
So, if an actor plays a gay character more than one time it means he must be gay/gay-leaning/”swing both ways”. Silly sh*t like that is why so many real actors are still apprehensive about playing non-hetero roles and generally why so many people are still scared to be upfront about their behaviors, desires, passions, romantic satisfactions, etc. Also, the movies he was in weren’t pornographic. They were just cheaply made and (as far as I can recall) pretty terrible “gay dramas”. And all of that has little to do with the actual article.
If you’re gonna become a Republican candidate who’s trying to lean on the “family values” BS then, yes, your nude pics and past gay roles will be used against you. That’s basic political strategy. And also, although it’s been mentioned quite a few times already, it’s Sabato’s GOP opponent who is bringing up his past work. I understand the articles here are usually terrible. However, if you don’t read them yet are desperate to give your opinion you typically end up exposing your biases.
I do think him saying he’s done “things he’s not proud of” tells you all you need to know as far as his opinions of “gays”. Those couple of lame movies weren’t even anywhere near porn, and he’s been in tons of trash throughout the decades. I’m just tired of the hypocrisy that comes from so many straight/straight-leaning people as well as self-resentful gay/gay-leaning/closeted people. They’re “allies” when it suits their pocketbooks, careers and/or egos.
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If his talent as a legislator will be anything like his acting, you people are screwed
Gurl, you got me hot and bothered thinking I was about to see some adult films with Antonio Sabato Jr in them. Now I’m just disappointed. And DOUBLY disappointed that a gay website would try and shame a gay-friendly politician for some cheesy low budget movies where played a gay role. Of all the things to shake Antonio Sabato Jr for, this should not be one of them.
Most commenters simply don’t bother reading the articles before commenting, do they?
This is not the first time his apparent internalize homophobia and hypocrisy has been exposed…I guess playing a gay charcters in numerous movie roles is ok in his mind because it pays the rent…..
“He’s also dabbled in reality”
That’s amazing! A Republican who dabbled in REALITY?
“He’s also dabbled in reality TV.”
Damn, I read it wrong the first time. Never mind!
“porn” ? No. Just more fake news from Queerty for gullible drama queens.
Just because you play gay in a movie doesn’t mean you’re gay. Just like Neil Patrick Harris, John Mahoney (Martin/dad), and David Hyde Pierce were gay in real life and played str8 guys on TV.
I wouldn’t vote for Sabato, but because I’m a liberal. I liked some of his movies. I thought he was cute also.
Pretty in his prime, now pretty pointless.
Whomever wrote the title cleary did it as clickbait. He wasn’t in “adult films” that insinuates porn which he never did. The movies he made were just that—movies. This website does their headlines just to incite anger and resentment in the gay community and the owners anf writers of this site should be ashamed of themselves. You should be about informing not angering anyone, and if that’s how this page is going to continue separating the gay community from everyone else then I for one will no longer subscribe to it. Shame on you QUEERTY……
“His behavior is inconsistent… with a party which has always favored traditional family values, which do not include porn.” But DO include cheating multiple times on your wife and hanging out in men’s restrooms in hopes of getting a BJ from an office staffer. THOSE “values”?
First, I would like to thank Queerty for posting this article. Why, because for many of us (us ref. to gay persons)This helps shed light on things that should be important to us. Yes, Anthony Sabato, Jr. is a handsome man, and when he was modeling underwear, yes it was sexy. But I will say this, I didn’t drool over this young man, because in the 90’s I was in my late 20’s early 30’s and he wasn’t my cup of tea. His remarks about Obama are vile and disgusting and this is the kind of thing I would like to know about when making my decision to vote. His being in gay themed movies doesn’t bother me, those he was in, were not that good anyway. Those who are pointing fingers, my question would be, how long did you look at the movies he was in? Finally, it’s sad but it’s so, yes many gay men and women (whether they were black or white) voted for Trump, and because of that, I say, you’re getting what you paid for.
In closing, after reading some of the comments posted here, I have to say, we need to go after those who are trying to tear us down, we need not go after each other.
I have always liked his acting and yes I had a crush. I emailed his campaign to find out his stand on gay rights and same sex marriage since he is such an ardent Trump fan. I have not received a reply. I would never even consider voting for a Republican unless the candidate spoke out for gay rights. And not like Donald Trump who fooled all those gays who are ignorant enough to support him although everything that comes out of his mouth is self serving and a lie
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