Emmy-winning actor Michael Imperioli—best known for his performances on The Sopranos and The White Lotus—is clarifying his recent comments about banning all "homophobes and bigots" from watching his work. The actor stated that some people failed to understand the irony behind his statement.
Imperioli initially made the announcement as part of an Instagram post that criticized the Supreme Court's recent anti-LGBTQ+ ruling.in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis that anti-discrimination laws in Colorado could not compel a website designer to create messages celebrating same-sex marriages due to her religious objections.
The case has been widely viewed as a setback for LGBTQ+ rights and an assertion of discrimination as a type of free speech and Imperioli published the following since-deleted post after the ruling was announced:
"i've decided to forbid bigots and homophobes from watching The Sopranos, The White Lotus, Goodfellas or any movie or TV show I've been in."
"Thank you Supreme Court for allowing me to discriminate and exclude those who I don't agree with am opposed to."
You can see his post below.
After his remarks garnered media attention, he decided to address the situation by posting a screenshot of a CNN article on Instagram and noting that he had made a satirical remark about the Supreme Court case's impact.
Imperioli said that while he believes in "religious freedom, freedom of speech and the right for individuals to pursue happiness," he will not accept the ruling for being part of a series of decisions that are taking the country "into utter division and possibly far worse."
"After turning down invitations to appear on various news programs, i thought it best just to clarify: The post referred to here was a satirical and symbolic take on where blatantly discriminatory Supreme Court decisions are taking us as a nation: into utter division and possibly far worse.”
“I believe in religious freedom, freedom of speech and the right for individuals to pursue happiness. I also believe in the separation of church and state as stated in the First Amendment."
"I believe that all people regardless of race, religion, color, creed, gender or sexuality are entitled to freedom, equality, rights and protection under the laws of our nation. And I vehemently oppose hate, prejudice and bigotry and always have."
"Some people have not gotten the irony I was expressing so I thought I'd be more explicit. Anyway, the post certainly got the message across to most and did its job. End of story."
You can see his post below.
Many have praised Imperioli for speaking out.
Imperioli, a longtime advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, has been known to delete political social media posts.
In a 2020 interview with Vice, the actor explained that he deletes his posts after a few days to maintain a positive environment on his social media timeline, free from negativity that may disrupt the tranquil space he has cultivated on the platform.
His initial satirical post was praised by celebrities like the singer Pink, who said she would watch his films with him to stand against anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment.