The White Lotus star, 57, announced his cheeky “ban” as part of an Instagram post publicly ridiculing the Supreme Court’s recent anti-LGBTQ+ ruling over the weekend. After it received a fair amount of media attention, the actor weighed in on his initial remarks, which have since been deleted, by posting a screenshot of a CNN article on Instagram.
“After turning down invitations to appear on various news programs, I thought it best just to clarify,” Imperioli wrote on Tuesday. “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,” he continued. “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.”
He concluded, “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.”
Imperioli’s initial remarks came on Saturday, one day after it was revealed that the Supreme Court had voted in favor of a Christian web designer who refused to provide same-sex wedding services due to their religious objections. In his original post, he added, “Thank you, Supreme Court, for allowing me to discriminate and exclude those who I don’t agree with and am opposed to. USA ! USA!”
The initial post quickly drew ire in its comment section, to which Imperioli responded at the time, “Hate and ignorance is not a legitimate point of view.”
Michael Imperioli clarifies banning bigots from watching his work. Michael Imperioli clarifies banning bigots from watching his work