Arnold Schwarzenegger's 1977 interview with the adult magazine Oui surfaced this week on TheSmokingGun.com, with the then-bodybuilder holding forth on such topics as his recreational use of marijuana and participation in heterosexual orgies. Of most interest to gay and lesbian voters in California, where Schwarzenegger is running for governor, may be his response to the question, "Do you get freaked out by being in such close contact with men in the gym?"
Schwarzenegger replied, "Not at all. When I was playing soccer at the age of 14, the first thing we'd do before going out onto the field would be to climb up on one another's thighs and massage the legs; it was a regular thing. None of us had a thought of being gay, absolutely not, and it's the same with bodybuilders. Men shouldn't feel like fags just because they want to have nice-looking bodies. Another thing: Recently I posed for a gay magazine, which caused much comment. But it doesn't bother me. Gay people are fighting the same kind of stereotyping that bodybuilders are: People have certain misconceptions about them just as they do about us. Well, I have absolutely no hang-ups about the fag business; though it may bother some bodybuilders, it doesn't affect me at all."
Schwarzenegger brushed off the story, saying only that he had things other than politics on his mind all those years ago. "I haven't lived my life to be a politician," he said during a radio talk show. The actor-turned-politico is currently leading the list of Republican candidates competing to replace Gov. Gray Davis in the October 7 recall election. The resurrection of the 26-year-old interview comes at time when Schwarzenegger is taking pains to appeal to the state's conservative Republicans. He commented Wednesday that he is against gay marriage but favors domestic partnerships.