Jeremy Irons to Face Protesters Over Anti-Gay Marriage Remarks

The group Gay USA is organizing a protest of Jeremy Irons at the opening of his film Trashed at the Energy for Tomorrow Conference in New York tonight sponsored by the New York Times. It's scheduled for 6 pm at 55 w. 59th street.

IronsWrites the group:


Jeremy Irons wants us to take him seriously when it comes to addressing the trash crisis. From all indications, he is right. But lately he has undermined his credibility and his right to be taken seriously through bigoted and offensive statements questioning the right of gay couples to marry, saying that it would "debase" marriage and would lead to fathers marrying their sons for tax benefits — even though no such thing has happened anywhere in the world where same-sex marriage is legal.

Irons' non-apology apologies on this issue acknowledge that he is uninformed on the issue. Here he is trying to educate the world on a very real environmental crisis and he cannot take ten minutes to talk to one of his gay friends and get educated on a vital human rights issue such as marriage equality? Every time his "apologizes" he makes another dumb comment.

Tell Jeremy Irons to stop trashing gay people and to learn the facts about the justice of opening marriage to same-sex couples before saying one more word on the subject. Irons has hurt the cause of gay rights by feeding into ignorance and it hurting the environmental cause by demonstrating that he often does not know what he is talking about.

If you missed Irons' asinine remarks, you can see them here and here.


  1. Tyler says

    This seems like a foolish waste of time and effort. Are gays so thin-skinned that they must mount protests against every actor who makes a dumb comment?

  2. Edward says

    Actually, I think we’ve found our courage and are standing up to people who have traditionally called us thin-skinned. When an actor as highly visible as Irons or a director as highly visible as Bret Ratner trash the rights of gay people to love and get married, yes, we should mount a protest. It’s called dignity. By the way, gay people by and large are a congenial bunch by nature – if anyone trashes you for similar reasons Tyler, feel free to count on our help.

  3. QJ201 says

    He didn’t make ONE dumb comment. He keeps diggin a deeper hole for himself…and has basically revealed that he doesn’t support marriage equality.

    Say what you will, but in an industry with SO many gays working behind the scenes…he basically is killing his career.

  4. UFFDA says

    You’re right Tyler, gays are ridiculously thin-skinned, in fact a lot of them are near to being skin heads. Mr. Irons is merely a jerk who should be forgotten, not pilloried.

  5. Brian says

    I think there is some, but not a lot, of merit in going after individuals who make anti-gay remarks. But I just don’t feel like Jeremy Irons falls into that category. First and foremost, his comments were hardly anti-gay. They were made in the context of being broadly pro-gay. And a key point here is that he’s coming from a UK background, and in the UK civil unions and marriages really are identical. Because of DOMA, civil unions (and same sex marriages) are essentially worthless in the US on many levels, so it’s much more urgent to get marriage rights. So he supports giving UK-style civil unions to gay couples, meaning complete equality except in name. He made a dumb comment about people using it as a tax loophole, but I think that means he clearly hadn’t spent much time on this issue, ie it’s not important to him.

    The second consideration is he is completely irrelevant. He has no legislative power, and I very much doubt he’s an opinion leader to anyone except a possible stalker. When you put that together with what was at worst, a very mild slight to gays, just doesn’t seem worth the effort. There are lots more important people saying much, much worse things, and nobody bothers them.

  6. says

    Well, if a civil rights issue is of no importance to you, perhaps it’s wise not to pontificate at length about it. His remarks were idiotic and condescending whether they were coming from a UK perspective or not. The procreation argument is right out of the NOM & their ilk play book, and it’s nonsense, as was the whole tortured incest-tax loophole argument.

    I couldn’t be bothered to protest this old gasbag, but it’s not like he made one stupid remark–he just kept digging in deeper with the stream of ignorance. Let’s hope he’s better informed about trash.

  7. SayTheTruth says

    I am so HAPPY that he said that, BECAUSE it made me realize what kind of person he is, it gave me a wonderful insight. Otherwise I would have keep thinking that he was a good actor with open mind attitudes and been wrong. I couldn’t see The Borgias (this season’s) after that, he spoiled it with such stupid and bigoted remarks for me.

  8. Brian says

    Ernie, he didn’t say anything like the NOM procreation argument, and I think a lot of people who are angry with him didn’t see the video and just see the attention grabbing but misleading headlines at towleroad and similar sites. First off, he didn’t volunteer to speak about this topic, he was promoting his miniseries the Borgias and the interview went all over the place. For some reason the interviewer asked him point blank how he felt about gay marriage. Jeremy hemmed and hawed, said several times he didn’t feel strongly about it one way or another, said he wishes any two people who love one another the very best of luck because “it’s fantastic”. But, like in the rest of the interview, he thinks out loud, and his thought process is long and meandering. So he got sidetracked into this inheritance tax evasion scheme. The interviewer then said, correctly, that incest laws would prevent that, and jeremy, incorrectly, said that incest wouldn’t apply because two men can’t procreate. So his only real mistake was thinking incest law was meant solely to prevent family members from procreating when it’s really meant more broadly to stop sexual intimacy among family members. But this was never connected to marriage, just incest. It then got mangled up by towleroad etc, tossed into the echo chamber, and will result in a silly, poorly attended protest.

  9. Brian says

    Oh, I should mention, he does say one damaging thing at the beginning of his comments, very hesitatingly, with long drawn out words, that he just (paraphrasing) worries, “that this will debase…that this will change, the meaning of marriage.” This is one of my least favorite arguments against gay marriage, but only because it’s so stupid. I don’t find it offensive, just devoid of content.

  10. says

    Are you Jeremy’s publicist, Brian? I watched the videos, alas–a few brain cells I’ll never get back. He said, “Marriage is about procreation.” (And that’s one of the less condescending remarks.) It’s not. His mistake was blabbing on and on about something he admits he doesn’t care about and to stream one ignorant statement on top of the other. It’s all trivial in the end, since it’s not like the world revolves around Jeremy Irons’s every utterance, but people–myself included–were genuinely surprised at what a pompous moron he is. Fortunately, avoiding his performances on screen is easy enough, so problem solved.

  11. Brian says

    I watched the much longer original video that started the whole issue, which is what I paraphrased above. I thought that’s where the anger is coming from. It seems like you’re angry about the followup one with the bbc. I just watched that and I have to say it’s impossible to get worked up about that. You’re right he does blab out “marriage is about procreation”, but you’ve got to admit you’re engaged in some highly selective editing. That was a complete non-sequitir, in between saying things like “I don’t have an opinion on gay marriage”, “I think gay marriage is wonderful”, “I think anything that keeps people together is fantastic” etc. you mention the procreation thing as one of his less condescending remarks. As far as I could tell, it was the only remark that could be construed as anti marriage, and was swamped by a bunch of neutral to wildly positive remarks about gay marriage. After watching the two videos I think you and whoever shows up to protest him tomorrow have really misunderstood him. And no, I’m not his publicist, I just hate when we get all worked up on the wrong things, and this is absolutely a non-issue.

  12. james says

    “oh…I should mention…”

    What? In your long-winded bs post, which attacks us for standing up to bully/moron Irons, YOU leave out one of the most critical point of his statement; The point that proves he thinks his rights are more important than ours?

    How convinient, you blow hard.

    I had just downloaded and subscribed to Borgias on ITunes. I saw episode 1, then Irons opened his fat ignorant mouth.

    I immediately deleted every show. Too bad I can’t get my money back.

    How about it, Mr. Irons? Wanna pay a fa**ot his money back? Or are you THAT kind of hypocrite too?

  13. travshad says

    Brian, You don’t find his use of the word “debase” to be offensive? There are no positive or neutral definitions of the word. It is not a synonym of “change”. The only way equal marriage can “debase” marriage, is if you believe same sex relationships are inferior.

  14. MichaelJ says

    I agree with everyone who says Irons’s ignorant and offensive remarks are not worth protesting and are a waste of people’s time and energy.

  15. says

    Brian, I don’t think anyone who found his dithering offensive misunderstood. Obviously, you can disagree. The best response was from Stephen Colbert, who did a brilliant take-down of Irons’s gasping stupidity. It was worth it just for that. BTW, I’m hardly angry or worked up about it–just commenting that he came across to many people as a pretentious and silly old fool, to our surprise. I personally don’t think he’s worthy of protest but, hey, if other people want to exercise their free speech rights, good for them. He’d be wise to quit on the topic before he inserts foot in mouth again.

  16. Brian says

    yes, of course debase is offensive, that’s why I mentioned it as an objectionable statement. But if you watch it he quickly takes it back, substitutes the word change for it and moves on. He’s got a lot of words on the subject, and it’s stupid to protest that and not give him credit for an actual, full sentence “I think gay marriage is wonderful”.

    And James, I left that out because I was responding specifically to Ernie’s issue with the “marriage is for procreation” thing. I would hardly make a separate post about the debasing comment if I were trying to hide it. And I would hardly call my posts an attack on you or other protestors, unlike your calling me a blowhard.

  17. Brian says


    We actually agree on the fact that he’s not worth getting worked up over, but we’ve both ended up multiple posting all afternoon on this anyway. I started out saying he’s totally irrelevant, and I’ve ended up writing way too much in defense of a guy that, while I really don’t think comes across as anti-gay at all, does come across as pompous and annoying on lots of different levels. I guess I’m sensitive to it because there are some actors I can’t watch because of their stupid statements (eg Mel Gibson) and I don’t want Jeremy Irons to fall into that camp for me because I actually enjoy much of his work.

  18. Caliban says

    Personally I don’t believe he’s worth protesting, but people are going to do what they’re going to do. It isn’t that his words weren’t offensive (they were) but that Irons himself is so low on the totem pole of importance that it isn’t worth the bother.

    Like Ernie said, the real surprise here was that Jeremy Irons, a generally well-respected actor, is such a godd@mn idiot who doesn’t even know any better than to keep digging himself deeper.

  19. says

    We have no business “protesting” a celebrity for having an opinion. Now if her was leading some kind of movement or something I’d say go ahead. But what we have here is one remarkably ill-informed (He thinks its NOT incest if you can’t breed – therefore father/son, bro/bro, sis/sis and mother/daughter aren’t affected by incest laws – is he THAT stupid?) celebrity. Better to just let the incident fade away.

  20. jaragon says

    There are better ways to spent you time that giving attention to a has been actor who clearly should not open his mouth unless he has been given a script.

  21. says

    With regard to the statement “Here he is trying to educate the world on a very real environmental crisis and he cannot take ten minutes to talk to one of his gay friends and get educated on a vital human rights issue such as marriage equality?”

    I guess that what Gay USA considers “a vital human rights…” i.e. gay marriage must in truth be a very shallow subject – I mean if you can get educated in “…10 minutes” there can’t be too much to it!

    Time to let go of your petty agenda and get on with life – there are bigger problems than what you consider to be your rights.