Rick Harrison, star of the hit show Pawn Stars on the History Channel, said his support for presidential candidate Marco Rubio has cost him product endorsements, and he's worried his conservative views will cost him his show. Harrison told CNN he believes his endorsement last month will enrage the "massive liberal PC police" an — and he cited transgender bathroom accommodations as an example of what he fears.
Harrison has always been involved in Republican politics to some degree, he said, but he told CNN his October 8 endorsement of the Rubio campaign sparked some backlash. He also took the opportunity to take a few punches at Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
"I suddenly became famous and I was the one willing to throw my career away to endorse a Republican. When you endorse a Republican, everyone sort of frowns on you. I don't know why, but hey," said Harrison.
Asked by CNN's Chris Moody if he feared he could lose his show if he espouses his conservative views freely, Harrison admitted that the possibility does bother him. "The PC thing, it's gone over the top." he said.
Harrison cited bathroom accommodations for transgender women as an example of views potentially damaging to his show's popularity. Asked if his conservative opinions could lead to the show's cancellation, Harrison took the opportunity to repeat a religious right talking point about trans people:
"It does worry me to a degree. You get these massive liberal PC police, they don't see the law of unintended consequences. You have some cities that are saying that if you have a man who feels like he's a woman, he can use the women's restroom. I guarantee you that will be taken advantage of by some very bad men who want to go into a bathroom where there's young ladies. That will happen if you pass a law like that. It's not a perfect world. You'll never make it a perfect world."
Houston, Texas, will vote tomorrow on whether to keep a fully inclusive human rights ordinance. The religious right have targeted the vote and have made restroom accommodations for transgender people, particularly trans women, into a boogieman to scare voters into repealing the ordinance.
While opponents claim that allowing transgender people to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity and presentation will lead to a rash of straight men crossdressing to rape women, no such crimes have been reported in the decades since LGBT nondiscrimination protections have been law. Houston has been the largest city in America without LGBT nondiscrimination protections since the Texas Supreme Court threw out the ordinance in July.
You can watch CNN's interview with Harrison in his famous Las Vegas pawn shop about his conservative views, here. Harrison's transphobic comments are not included in the video, but are available on the CNN site in a transcription of the interview. Below, watch a short clip from the CNN report posted on YouTube, and scroll down to watch Harrison's endorsement of Rubio last month.