Susan Sarandon today said death threats and attacks by the American public and the media after she spoke out against the Iraq war had left her very scared.
Sarandon, a long-time political activist, said the way in which she and her family had been targeted by newspapers, radio phone-ins, teachers and people on the street because of her views was “horrifying”.
In an interview on ITV1 with Jonathan Dimbleby to be shown on Sunday, the film star said she had been labelled a “Bin Laden lover” for asking questions about the US invasion of Iraq.
Sarandon said she believed there should have been more debate before the war was launched, but people who asked questions about the Government’s policy were labelled as un-American, and had smear campaigns and death threats directed at them.
“I don’t think that I ever thought someone would ever really kill me, although there were some people who said: ‘I’d like someone to knock her off’ on the radio and stuff like that.
“And I don’t think that I thought that I’d really never work again, but when there is nobody else, when you look out on the field and everybody is quiet and they’re all looking away and nobody’s saying anything, it’s a really scary place to be,” she said.
Sarandon, who is hoping to play ‘Peace Mom’ Cindy Sheehan in a film about the mother’s protest over her son’s death in Iraq, also criticised President Bush for hijacking the September 11 attacks to justify the war.
“I’m a New Yorker. I was here, I saw the buildings go down, my kids were in school, I rounded them up through the smoke and everything else, I had friends on that first plane.
“It certainly affected everybody in this city but you have to get past it, you have to start noticing whenever those fear colours get put up there’s a reason why they keep going there.
“Every time something happens, they try to play that card,” she said.
Sarandon also condemned the Democrats for failing to stand up to the Bush administration’s war machine.
“There was no reason for Hillary Clinton, for instance, to vote (for the war), for John Kerry to vote, they were protecting their reputations – they didn’t want to seem un-American.
“They crumbled under the pressure of that moment and it was a very lonely, very scary time to ask a question. That’s a horrible condition to exist in a democracy.”
Asked if she would support Clinton for the presidency because she was a Democrat, Sarandon said the former First Lady lacked principles.
“Everybody is so cautious and just trying to get elected, just trying to stay in office and I think she suffers from that, I think she’s a politician like everyone else.
“So I’m not particularly supportive of her, I’d like to find somebody that really has a moral bottom line be they be a man or a woman,” she said.
The actress also said the public was voting against their own best interests in a number of areas, including health care, immigration, civil liberties and the economy, because the issues had been “fanned by fear” by the US government.