Yet following a filmed interview with the Huffington Post earlier this week, in which he wondered if legalized same-sex marriage could lead to an incestuous union between a father and his son, a maelstrom of outrage was ignited, leading many to wonder if the Oscar-winner had completely lost his mind. What would be next? Does he also think the earth is flat?
Now, the star of queer-themed projects such as Brideshead Revisited and M. Butterfly, has issued a statement to soften the blow of his shocking comments.
“I am deeply concerned that from my on line discussion with the Huffington Post, it has been understood that I hold a position that is antigay,” the 64-year-old thespian writes in a letter posted April 5 on the site JeremyIrons.net. “This is as far from the truth of me as to say that I believe the earth is flat,” he added. (Whew!)
Irons goes on to say:
“I was taking part in a short discussion around the practical meaning of marriage, and how that institution might be altered by it becoming available to same-sex partners. Perhaps rather too flippantly I flew the kite of an example of the legal quagmire that might occur if same sex marriage entered the statute books, by raising the possibility of future marriage between same sex family members for tax reasons, (incest being illegal primarily in order to prevent inbreeding, and therefore an irrelevance in non reproductive relationships). Clearly this was a mischievous argument, but nonetheless valid.” (We’ll give you mischievous.)
“I am clearly aware that many gay relationships are more long term, responsible and even healthier in their role of raising children, than their hetero equivalents, and that love often creates the desire to mark itself in a formal way, as Marriage would do. Clearly society should find a way of doing this.” (What? No “some of my best friends are” defense?)
“I had hoped that even on such a subject as this, where passions run high, the internet was a forum where ideas could be freely discussed without descending into name-calling. (Jeremy, you haven’t spent much time on the internet, huh?)
“I believe that is what it could be, but it depends on all of us behaving, even behind our aliases, in a humane, intelligent and open way.”
All right, Irons, we’re not sold on this quasi-apology, but in the meantime how about offering one for Beautiful Creatures?