Henry Winkler bashes Herschel Walker for saying celebrity opinions are America's biggest issue

"Aren't [you] kind of a celeb, Hersh?" the "Barry" actor questioned in a tweet

Published June 16, 2022 5:19PM (EDT)

Herschel Walker and Henry Winkler (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
Herschel Walker and Henry Winkler (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

Former Fonzie Henry Winkler had a few choice words for Herschel Walker after the former NFL star and current GOP Georgia Senate nominee bashed celebrities.

On Tuesday, neurosurgeon-turned-politician Ben Carson, in a conversation for the American Cornerstone Institute, had asked Walker about the nation's biggest issue.

"I think some of the biggest problems going on in our country today, we have so many celebrities telling people that they can't do it," Walker answered, per The Comeback. "Telling a lot of people, 'Oh, well, you got to feel bad for yourself, feel sorry for yourself.' Which is sad to me. They've done it, but they're telling you you can't do it. And it's like, you did it, why they can't do it? I think they tell all the kids they can't do it, making our kids feel sorry for themselves."

Winkler, who currently stars in HBO's comedy-drama "Barry," wasn't about to let that comment slide. 

"I need to repeat this again I am an American First with every right to an opinion . . . then I am an actor," Winkler wrote in a bold tweet. "Got that Mr. Walker . . . Mr famous Athlete."

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Walker's quote – which failed to address any other issues such as gun violence, the bipartisan divide, encroaching fascism or dialing back rights for women and other marginalized groups – also ignores his own fame. As a former athlete who's arguably been elevated into politics based on his past, Walker's greatest strength could be seen as his celebrity. 

Winkler, who's best known for playing The Fonz on "Happy Days," might have been tempted to tell Walker to "sit on it," but instead tweeted: "Aren't [you] kind of a celeb, Hersh?" 

Winkler also responded to a separate tweet, in which one user expressed shock over Walker's recent success in the polls.


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"My head spins. He's on the ballot! How crazy has this country become?" the user wrote. "And he's polling well!!!! I'm trying not to go numb, while at the same time wanting to be numb."

In a quote tweet, Winkler simply said, "Celebs are AMERICANS first."

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By Joy Saha

Joy Saha is an editorial fellow at Salon, covering Culture. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.

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Brief Celebrities Georgia Senate Gop Henry Winkler Herschel Walker