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REVERSAL OF FORTUNE

Jeremy Irons Responds to Outrage, Says He Is Far from Antigay

Jeremy-Irons-jeremy-irons-5963969-550-520When he provided the voice of villainous Scar in Disney’s The Lion King, actor Jeremy Irons proclaimed, “As far as brains go, I got my share.”

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?

By:           JEREMY KINSER
On:           Apr 6, 2013
Tagged: , , ,
  • 51 Comments
    • 2eo
      2eo

      Here is the classic “None apology deflection coupled with self righteous indignation on being called out on his utterly moronic thought processes” or as I call it, upest about acting like a c*nt and being called on it.

      Apr 6, 2013 at 12:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      I stand by my upest.

      Apr 6, 2013 at 12:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lefty
      Lefty

      “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.”

      Moronic, certainly. But “shocking”??

      Apr 6, 2013 at 12:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fagburn
      fagburn

      “a maelstrom of outrage was ignited…”

      More accurate to say, “a maelstrom of outrage was manufactured”, eh Queerty?

      Apr 6, 2013 at 12:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wilbready
      Wilbready

      And Mel Gibson is building Malibu Temple Shalom next to his house. Irons has not apologized for adding gasoline to the religious side of the equality fire. Instead, he just takes a few steps back to avoid, erroneously, getting burned!
      Where is Simba when you need him?

      Apr 6, 2013 at 12:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • QJ201
      QJ201

      He’s still a moron or as the brits say a TWAT.

      Incest is illegal in most nations regardless of reproductive “possibility.”

      Apr 6, 2013 at 12:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DarkZephyr
      DarkZephyr

      @2eo: For once I am in agreement with you.

      Apr 6, 2013 at 12:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DarkZephyr
      DarkZephyr

      @fagburn: Not based on the comments at HuffPost and on twitter. I think your head is deeply buried in the sand.

      Apr 6, 2013 at 12:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Taliaferro
      Taliaferro

      The Internet is indeed a forum where idea may be discussed. However, it does not follow that over the top comments, whether intended as levity or a mischeivous act, should be part of discussion. Discussion, by definition is a detailed treatment of a particular topic, “detailed,” suggests that comments meant to shock, appall or inflame should not be uttered. Mr. Irons, like many who have made a public fool of themselves, seeks to appear less intolerant than he actually is. Bigots, especially ignorant bigots, use this method in an attempt to seem more reasonable than they actually are. Some may buy it, but not those truly informed on the topic at hand.

      Apr 6, 2013 at 12:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fagburn
      fagburn

      @DarkZephyr: So a posh out-of-touch celebrity said something stupid about something he clearly hasn’t thought about, in a baffling rambling interview.
      Well, there’s a first!
      Haven’t you got something that actually matters to get angry about?

      Apr 6, 2013 at 1:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DarkZephyr
      DarkZephyr

      @fagburn: It matters because what he said is something that NOM and other anti-gay groups have been saying for a long time and the opinions of celebrities have impact, whether we like it or not.

      Apr 6, 2013 at 1:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fagburn
      fagburn

      @DarkZephyr: Fair point. But if so isn’t hyping it up like this counter-productive?

      Apr 6, 2013 at 1:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • balehead
      balehead

      He’s not anti-gay…..He didn’t say “God hates F’gs” for the “discussion” on here….obviously an intelligent man who likes to expound on things of immediate concern these day…

      Apr 6, 2013 at 1:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • balehead
      balehead

      Free speech still exists right?……

      Apr 6, 2013 at 1:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • balehead
      balehead

      People should save their unhappiness for the Morning Goods Section ..as always…

      Apr 6, 2013 at 1:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kieran
      Kieran

      Maybe we all need to chill out and have a laugh:

      http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/425101/april-04-2013/koko—jeremy-irons-on-gay-marriage

      Apr 6, 2013 at 1:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jwrappaport
      jwrappaport

      “Clearly this was a mischievous argument, but nonetheless valid.”

      No, it is not valid. It is a paradigmatic example of a slippery slope argument. Anti-incest laws do not make reference to reproductive capacity and instead are drafted simply to prohibit marriage between sufficiently close blood relatives. Allowing same-sex marriage would not alter this legal calculus.

      @balehead: Free speech presupposes my right to criticize people who make idiotic and dangerous speech. How is criticism tantamount to censorship? Also consider that the right to free speech is as against the government, not individuals.

      Our objection to Jeremy’s unlettered interview is not that he’s necessarily anti-gay, but that he’s perhaps unwittingly continuing the parade of horribles argument against gay marriage.

      Apr 6, 2013 at 2:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jonty Coppersmith
      Jonty Coppersmith

      Yeah, he compared being gay to incest, but he’s not anti-gay. Right!

      Apr 6, 2013 at 2:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DarkZephyr
      DarkZephyr

      @fagburn: it could be, but I think it might at least make him think before he speaks about such things from now on.

      @balehead: Do you honestly think that linking gay marriage to incest is intelligent?

      Apr 6, 2013 at 3:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • heyace37
      heyace37

      All the fuss about the father marrying the son, I get it. But what really bothered me was his suggestion that it “debases” marriage. No apology for that, was there? Does he think gay marriage debases marriage or not??? I assume he does, and for that, he’s a c*nt.

      Apr 6, 2013 at 3:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tommy25
      Tommy25

      His argument isn’t valid. In states that allow same sex marriages, it’s still illegal to marry your son, your father, your brother and other close relatives of the same gender. Incest isn’t illegal just because of inbreeding, it’s illegal because there’s such a potential for abuse and coercion because of the power relationships in families. So there’s no reason why same sex marriage between unrelated people can’t be permitted but incestous same sex marriages still be illegal just like opposite sex incestous relationships.

      Apr 6, 2013 at 3:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MK Ultra
      MK Ultra

      I agree with heyace37. The thing that stuck out to me most about Irons’ projectile vomit of a rant was that word “debase”.
      So straight people are one, special group that gets their own sacred ritual (which they freely use and abuse), but if we horrible gays even think of being associated with this ritual, then we’ve apparently ruined the whole thing. Because we’re bad people? Because our love is less than? Because we don’t deserve it?
      Irons can try all the pseudo-intellectal mental gymnastics he wants.
      The fact is, he said outright that simply allowing gay couples the same rights, responsibilities, and dignity as straights, cheapens them for straight people. There is no other way to interpret “debase”.

      Apr 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ncman
      ncman

      His new statement:

      “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.”

      makes it quite clear that he doesn’t believe that same-sex couples deserve to be treated EQUALLY.

      Apr 6, 2013 at 3:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tookietookie
      tookietookie

      The “Yes love is wonderful be it with another person or a dog” bit was also on purpose. He knew what he was saying there. It wouldn’t be said about a straight couple – “Oh, Judy, we’re so glad Scott is marrying you. Or if he just got a dog, that would have been equally good. But no, seriously, your relationship is at least equal in my estimation to pet ownership. The whole family thinks so.”

      Never going to watch a thing he does ever again.

      Apr 6, 2013 at 4:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • heyace37
      heyace37

      Tookietookie is right. When you watch the whole Huffpost video, it’s obvious that he’s just spouting his thoughts off the cuff, unedited (like, “no one is watching this, anyway”) and you do get the sense that he really spoke what his thoughts were. If his thoughts were “gay people should be allowed the same rights as straight people, including marriage,” that’s EASY to say. Dogs, “debase”, incest, etc., have nothing to do with it, and when they bring it up, it’s certainly not to help support the concept, it’s the opposite.

      We’ve seen the inner workings of Iron’s brain and there’s no support for gay marriage there. It’s a swirling crazy mess of bigotry and weird sexual ideas.

      To me this is a lot like the Michelle Shocked thing. When you listen to the tape, it’s OBVIOUS what she intended. The post-faux-apologies don’t cut it, all the dancing around the subject seems more like a desire for an additional 15 minutes of free publicity, but it will cost you.

      And: The Borgias debases television, IMO.

      Apr 6, 2013 at 4:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sfbeast
      sfbeast

      so not only did he say something totally offensive, but then he wants those who objected to his idiocy to say they’re sorry. jeremy, you were great in brideshead all those years ago. now shut up

      Apr 6, 2013 at 4:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fagburn
      fagburn

      @ncman: “makes it quite clear that he doesn’t believe that same-sex couples deserve to be treated EQUALLY”

      Erm… no it doesn’t.

      Apr 6, 2013 at 4:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      @ncman: Like all people when they are caught out and called on their moronic beliefs and systems, their attempts at disassociation just digs them deeper. He progressed from talking about incestual marriage to flat out calling us worthless in his retraction.

      He would understand worthless, it’s where his career has being for well over a decade.

      Apr 6, 2013 at 4:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      Like all people when they are caught out and called on their moronic beliefs and systems, their attempts at disassociation just digs them deeper. He progressed from talking about inc3stual marriage to flat out calling us worthless in his retraction.

      He would understand worthless, it’s where his career has being for well over a decade.

      Apr 6, 2013 at 4:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ncman
      ncman

      @fagburn: when he says

      “clearly society should find a way of doing this” he means a way OTHER THAN MARRIAGE. If he wanted to treat same-sex couples equally, the solution is marriage equality, not some other way.

      Apr 6, 2013 at 5:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fagburn
      fagburn

      @ncman: Sorry, I didn’t realise you were a mind reader.

      Apr 6, 2013 at 5:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tookietookie
      tookietookie

      I actually feel more that Michelle Shocked woman is less offensive than this situation. At least she has cray-cray talking to her. Irons is just being an arrogant jerk.

      Apr 6, 2013 at 5:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kieran
      Kieran

      I think he definitely went about it the wrong way, but he does raise an interesting philosophical debate. When we live in a world where many pairings are unable to reproduce, and children can be made through IVF and surrogacy, the way Incest is viewed in society may change. I DO NOT SUPPORT INCEST, NOR DO I EVER SEE MYSELF DOING SO, but it is an interesting point. However Jeremy Irons is still a douche since this debate has nothing to do with marriage-equality.

      Apr 6, 2013 at 7:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jwrappaport
      jwrappaport

      “Clearly this was a mischievous argument, but nonetheless valid.”

      No, it is not valid. It is a paradigmatic example of a slippery slope argument. Anti-incest laws do not make reference to reproductive capacity and instead are drafted simply to prohibit marriage between sufficiently close blood relatives. Allowing same-sex marriage would not alter this legal calculus.

      @balehead: Free speech presupposes my right to criticize people who make idiotic and dangerous speech. How is criticism tantamount to censorship? Also consider that the right to free speech is as against the government, not individuals.

      Our objection to Jeremy’s unlettered interview is not that he’s necessarily anti-gay, but that he’s perhaps unwittingly continuing the parade of horribles argument against gay marriage.

      Apr 6, 2013 at 9:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DOFEK
      DOFEK

      You fucked it up big time ass hole. AdamHomo

      Apr 7, 2013 at 7:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @balehead: said…

      “Free speech still exists right?……”
      ___________________

      I’m so bored of the bigots always saying this. So let me get this straight….Irons can express his disagreement with LGBT’s positions, but they aren’t allowed to express THEIR disagreement with his?

      I must have missed the part in civics class that said only bigots get free speech.

      Apr 7, 2013 at 7:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TJ Parker
      TJ Parker

      Hey, Mr. Irons!! Are you saying that I can already marry my mom because she’s post-menopausal?

      I think you’ve spent too long on the pages of National Enquirer that you’ve actually devolved into a character worthy of being featured in its pages.

      Apr 7, 2013 at 8:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Truth Addict
      Truth Addict

      When I read his comments, I knew there would be a maelstrom to follow. But, I think he was just going through a mental exercise to consider what could be “unintended consequences.” Most intelligent people like to ponder the absurd possibilities when giving consideration to a new idea. We already know that some (not many) gay men and lesbians marry for insurance benefits. So, it can be entertaining and thought provoking to think about other strange scenarios that could come about. He was right, a father-son marriage would bypass the argument against incestuous marriage because reproduction would not be impossible. So, why couldn’t a father marry his son therefore passing the father’s estate to the son tax-free at the father’s death? It’s interesting to consider. These types of mental exercises are important when you try to develop a rational basis for your position in a debate and when you try to debunk the opponents arguments. If the social conservative and O’Reilly’s “bible thumpers” would engage in this sort of thought process, they would see that their sole argument, “god says so”, fails miserably.

      Apr 7, 2013 at 1:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      @Cam: Balehead is a c*nt whom I hope has his lungs punctured and interred and beaten to death by his own family.

      Free speech still exists right?, that is my actual opinion of him, so isn’t inflammatory and other things as well.

      Apr 7, 2013 at 3:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rob
      Rob

      Huh. Justice Sotomayor asked a similar question and has been greeted with silence. Wonder why the double standard by Gay Inc.

      Apr 7, 2013 at 5:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cee
      Cee

      Doesn’t matter what he says now. The comment he made was ignorant and offensive no matter which way he tries to spin it. You’d think he’d know better.

      Apr 7, 2013 at 7:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • longpastdue
      longpastdue

      wow, I just can’t believe that people are so condemnatory here. Frankly this sounds exactly like a comment I might make in what sounds to me like a very in depth conversation. We are so ready to hate people but his comments to me sound like any one of the many discussions I have had with friends where we argue any point, play devils-advocate, and ultimately take things to often ridiculous and impossible extremes. I am very grateful that I am not a celebrity otherwise many of the things I have said would probably have long since branded me; anti-gay, racist, and other forms of bigoted. As well I’m sure as sociopathic and probably even in possession of some kind of schizoaffective disorder. Can we please reserve this kind of outrage for people who actually do exhibit some true hate towards us and not just people who pose outlandish hypothetical questions.

      Apr 8, 2013 at 3:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lefty
      Lefty

      As his comment was quite clearly in no way a moral judgment on gay people and/or couples and was in no way talking about genuine gay couples who love each other and want to get married, I’m confused as to how it could possibly be offensive to gay people.
      He was talking very simply about people – not gay couples – who want to exploit a possible loop-hole in the law in order to avoid tax. His comment about it denigrating marriage was related to such people exploiting this possible loop-hole.
      His comment was stupid because there are already innumerable people who exploit loop-holes in marriage laws to either avoid tax, get a visa, etc, etc.
      Surely the only people who would find his comments offensive are those who wanted to exploit a loop-hole in the way he describes (ie. virtually no one)???

      Apr 8, 2013 at 4:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lefty
      Lefty

      “Antigay”, isn’t that an island in the West Indies?

      Apr 8, 2013 at 4:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alexoloughlin
      alexoloughlin

      Hmmm, Jeremy Irons should know more than anyone what undermines hetero marriage, ergo adultery and divorce. He’s already on his second marriage and also a god-botherer. As for the father/son canard, would he construe sex between a father and his underage, non-menstruating daughter as incest because the potential for breeding is there, or sexual abuse? It’s interesting how he singled out fathers and sons, yet conveniently ommitted mothers and daughters. It’s kind of creepy that he’s thinking about sons in that way. If I were his son, I’d be very scared.

      Apr 8, 2013 at 7:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • carob
      carob

      He starred in some of Cronenberg’s most homophobic films. And that’s saying a lot, since there were a lot of them.

      Apr 8, 2013 at 10:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cee
      Cee

      @Lefty: His comment is offensive to gays because he only applied his screwed up logic to gay people. Why bring incestuous unions up at all? Sometimes actors just need to keep their mouth shut and stick to the script they’re given in their movies.

      Apr 8, 2013 at 1:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jack E. Jett
      Jack E. Jett

      I have been riveted by this story as a long time fan of Mr. Irons.

      If you simply listen to the comments and extract the English accent, you will find they are not just homophobic, but extreme…”Westboroish” homophobic. His extremes are insane.

      Yet, somehow, that amazing British accent makes the entire conversation seem rather above it all. It is one of those cases of accent trumps content. But make no mistake, the words are there, the feeling is there. I can’t imagine ever watching a film with him and not think that he sees marrying his son the same as me marrying my partner of 20 years.

      Apr 8, 2013 at 2:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tomron
      tomron

      @DarkZephyr: No, not buried in the sand, but in a far reaching part of his anatomy. I would accept his “apology at face value except for the fact that his comment defies explanation, and therefore validity. How does the possibility of marrying for economic reasons SUDDENLY become valid for same sex marriages, when it has been available for centuries for opposite sex marriages? There’s got to have been the germ of homophobia lurking in the background. And, I agree with Jack Jett about equating marrying his son (why didn’t he also include his dog or horse?) with my 58 year marriage/relationship with my late husband.

      Apr 8, 2013 at 4:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ecllips
      ecllips

      @fagburn: I agree with you> Queerty definitely made this into a HUGE issue. And even while the guy was offering an apology they were still being sarcastic and against him. When someone apologizes accept it and move on.

      Apr 10, 2013 at 12:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ecllips
      ecllips

      @fagburn: I agree with you. Queerty definitely made this into a HUGE issue. And even while the guy was offering an apology they were still being sarcastic and against him. When someone apologizes accept it and move on.

      Apr 10, 2013 at 12:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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