Actor Kevin Sorbo said America is facing a masculinity crisis as he previewed a couple of new projects in an interview with Fox News Digital on Thursday.
Sorbo, who shot to fame for his titular role in "Hercules" in the mid-1990s, said his new book "The Test of Lionhood," from Brave Books, is a response to an "attack on toxic masculinity."
"I look at a lot of things that have been coming out lately in the movies and television, where they constantly just make men kind of wimps," Sorbo told Fox Digital.
Experts recently sounded off to Fox Digital about the "devastating" effects the media's portrayal of masculinity has produced. Hollywood, they argue, has often demonized traditional male roles.
Sorbo suggested it was a decades old and dangerous narrative.
"To me, it goes back to even sitcoms," he said. "You look at sitcoms over the last 30 years, the guy, the husband's always kind of fat and dumpy, the mom's kind of hot. And then they got the teenage kids, and all they do is belittle a father. It's this whole attack on fathers - a whole attack on a man being a man."
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., recently made the same comparison in an interview with Fox Digital. Sitcoms over the past three decades, he said, have often featured men and fathers who are "complete idiots" or "actively malign influences."
"We have been constantly telling men that, you have White privilege, male, White privilege and all of that stuff," Sorbo added.
"The Test of Lionhood," the actor said, is geared toward children and is supposed to celebrate the differences between boys and girls, and the unique qualities of each gender.
"And that in this book is really to be read to children, boys and girls, young age, and say, look, there's a difference between men and boys and girls," Sorbo said. "There's a difference between male and female. They both have their part in the world. They both have things they can do that better than the other one."
"But I think to sit there and take away the masculinity from men, the men that are supposed to be the providers, the hunters," he continued. "And I'm not saying women shouldn't be, because my wife certainly throws in more than her two cents. So to me, it's like, my goodness. Why is there such an attack and such - to break apart the family unit, which they've been doing for a long, long time now. And I think this book, hopefully when they're read to kids, will make them. I don't know. I think I hope there's a lot of positiveness coming out of it."
The topic of fatherlessness and the breakdown of the nuclear family was brought up in one of the most memorable moments from Wednesday's GOP presidential primary debate when Vivek Ramaswamy tied the epidemic to the rate of poverty in the U.S. today.
"So part of the problem is we also have a federal government that pays single women more not to have a man in the house than to have a man in the house contributing to an epidemic of fatherlessness and I think that goes hand in glove with the education crisis as well, because we have to remember, education starts with the family, and the nuclear family is the greatest form of governance known to mankind," Ramaswamy said.
"I don't disagree with him," Sorbo said. "I think that the family unit has been suffering, and it's been suffering through the way it's portrayed, certainly in the media."
Sorbo said he's scoured over statistics that tie fatherlessness to higher rates of incarceration. He took particular aim at the Black Lives Matter movement, saying "the destruction of family unit" was "part of their manifesto."
Sorbo and his wife Sam formed their own production company, Sorbo Studios, which produces family-friendly faith-based entertainment. Their latest film, "Miracle in East Texas," is inspired by a true story and centers around two con men during the Great Depression who convince lonely widows to invest in their worthless oil wells. The film also co-stars John Ratzenberger, formerly of "Cheers" fame.
"The Test of Lionhood" is expected to be released on Aug. 29, while "Miracle in East Texas" is in theaters Oct. 29 and 30 on a limited release with Fathom Events.
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