Actor John Ratzenberger slams Hollywood's portrayal of skilled workers

The former 'Cheers' star said skilled workers can take their craft anywhere and get a job the next day

Actor John Ratzenberger, known for his roles on the television sitcom "Cheers" and "Toy Story," argued that Hollywood doesn’t portray skilled workers correctly during an appearance on FOX Business' "Varney & Co." 

"Time and again, you see movies and Hollywood shows with skilled tradespeople as being idiots or being lesser than everybody else," Ratzenberger told host Stuart Varney on Tuesday. "And why would a young person seeing that… want to do that?"


But in reality, Ratzenberger explained, tradespeople possess skills they could take "anywhere in the world and get a job the next day."

"So if you're an electrician, a bricklayer, if you could bake a cake, you've got a skill that you own," Ratzenberger said.

Before becoming a professional actor, Ratzenberger said he made a living as a carpenter after being introduced to the craft in school shop classes.

"When I was growing up, we had shop classes and I got a taste of carpentry and I gravitated towards it," he said, "and low and behold, that's how I made a living between acting jobs."

Ratzenberger said there has been a lack of young and ambitious skilled workers since many schools eradicated shop class and vocational programs.

"We didn't give them a taste of what it's like working with your hands," he said.

Ratzenberger also claimed the U.S. doesn’t have enough people to build roads, bridges and other necessary infrastructure due to the post-pandemic skilled labor shortage.

"You can throw all the money you want at the infrastructure [plan], but nobody's showing up to weld the bridges or pound nails because we canceled shop classes 30, 40 years ago," Ratzenberger said adding that "we never gave young people a taste of what it would be like to work in those jobs."


Ratzenberger further advocated for the skilled workforce, adding there’s often no student loan debt and the industry is desperate for workers.

"Even the RV industry will pay you to move to where they are and then teach you how to build or inspect or repair an RV," Ratzenberger said. "But they're desperate all over the country."