Melissa Joan Hart — the perky blonde star of “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch’’ who publicly supported the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan ticket — says it’s tough supporting Republicans in Hollywood and lashed out at critics who sent her “hurtful’’ Twitter messages.
“Some of the stuff I got was pretty disgusting,’’ Hart told Sean Hannity on Fox News.
“It was so hurtful . . . I don’t put out hate and I don’t want to see hate on my Twitter feed. If you don’t like what I have to say, don’t follow me.’’
One critic slammed Hart on Twitter, writing, “Vote today and punch yourself in the uterus.’’ Another called her “politically ignorant’’ and used a vulgarity.
“I got blasted a lot. I got blasted as I must hate gay people if I’m voting for Romney,’’ said Hart, 36. But, she added, “I never said I was Republican. I just said who I was voting for . . . I never said anything political.’’
The actress — who grew up in Smithtown, New York, and now appears with Joey Lawrence in the ABC Family series “Melissa & Joey’’ — said she learned early on in her career that backing GOP candidates can be risky in the nation’s entertainment capitol.
Once, as she went to rehearsals for “Sabrina’’ after voting for Robert Dole, who was running against Bill Clinton, “I walked in with my ‘I vote’ sticker and I was so proud of myself and walked on the stage . . . and everyone was like, ‘You voted! Oh, ok, who did you vote for?’ And I said, ‘Dole,’ and oh my gosh, I learned a lesson that day!"
Her experiences have “schooled me to the fact that you just don’t talk about politics in Hollywood.’’
But Hart noted that some of the Hollywood community does vote Republican.
“But they’re afraid to say it,’’ she said. “It is like a blacklist. It’s a little scary. And I just found out there’s a Wikipedia page that says who backed Romney in the celebrity [world].
“It was unbelievable. I live in a country where I’m supposed to be able to have this freedom to choose who ever I want to vote for, whatever religion I want, and I feel like there are these limitations. It’s not like it used to be.’’
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