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Christian Actor Lost Jobs in Hollywood Because He Refused to be Unfaithful to His Wife

Neal McDonough, Faith, Christian
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Having certain religious beliefs and abiding by the morals commonly attached can make many jobs difficult to maintain. While we like to believe we live in an “accepting” and “open-minded” society, sometimes that’s far from the truth. And the entertainment industry can be especially ruthless. Actor Neal McDonough is no stranger to this adversity, as his moral boundaries got him fired in the past. As a Christian actor, McDonough refuses to do anything on camera that he wouldn’t do off camera, such as kissing any woman who is not his wife. Putting his faith, family, and commitment to his wife before anything else is just a way of life for McDonough. Such loyalty is a rarity in Hollywood! (1)

Christian Actor Puts God Before Work

Maintaining a reliable career in Hollywood is difficult, even without a strict moral code that may keep one from playing a character as directed. McDonough knows that his unapologetic faithfulness to his wife makes his career much, much harder. But staying true to his faith and his marriage seems to be far more important than being a famous actor. As is understood in the Christian faith, there is constantly a decision to be made between desire and that which is labeled as ‘pure and good’. Sometimes these decisions are small and barely noticeable. Other times they can take form in big life decisions that force one to give up jobs and potentially large paychecks. (1, 2, 3)

When McDonough first decided to pursue acting, he made the importance of his faith abundantly clear. Since the very beginning of his 30-year acting career, he has openly shown his utter dedication to his wife, model Ruve Robertson. McDonough’s commitment is so strong that he refuses to act in love or sex or scenes. “I won’t kiss any other woman because these lips are meant for one woman,” McDonough says of his wife, the mother to his five children. This moral policy, while honorable, has cost McDonough his job. (1, 2)

McDonough Loses Acting Role Because of Faithfulness to His Wife

While certainly not everyone has heard of McDonough or seen him in a substantial role, he is a talented actor. Because of this, many producers and directors have been willing to honor his religious convictions, as was the case when McDonough landed his role on the sexually charged show “Desperate Housewives.” According to McDonough,

“When Marc Cherry signed me, I said, ‘I’m sure you know, but I won’t kiss anybody,’ He was like, ‘But this is ‘Desperate Housewives!’ I said, ‘I know.’ He paused for about five seconds and said, ‘All right, I’m just going to have to write better.’ And we had a great time.'” 

While his experience on the show may have been pleasant, McDonough has faced many other situations that went the complete opposite. (1, 2) McDonough was lined up to star in ABC’s 2010 TV series “Scoundrels.” But three days into filming, he was abruptly replaced because of his refusal to perform any of the steamy sex scenes with co-star Virginia Madsen. McDonough lost up to one million dollars when he forfeited his spot on the show. This also substantially injured his reputation in the entire show business industry. (1, 3) Per McDonough, “It was a horrible situation for me. After that, I couldn’t get a job because everybody thought I was this religious zealot. I am very religious. I put God and family first, and me second. That’s what I live by. It was hard for a few years.” (4)

McDonough Perseveres Amidst Adversity

Despite a great deal of adversity due to his strict convictions, McDonough refuses to compromise. He continues to stand by his beliefs and remains faithful to his wife no matter the kinds of jobs that turn him down. Even so, he has been able to make a decent career in spite of this difficulty. “After almost 20 years, five kids, and just one heck of an awesome life later,” McDonough says, “to have her as my partner is everything. I’m just the most blessed guy I know.” (1)

Hearing McDonough speak up for what he believes in and stand by these beliefs without faltering should be inspiring to anyone. He’s made a respectable career in a difficult industry, all without compromising his values. How many other people from Tinseltown can make this claim?

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