Emma Thompson takes back Isle of Wight gay stoning comments

PinkNews Staff Writer September 10, 2010
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The actress Emma Thompson has said she got mixed up when she joked that the Isle of Wight stones gay people and meant the Isle of Man.

The star belatedly realised she had offended the wrong group of islanders after Isle of Wight residents complained at her remarks.

She had also joked that the island shoots Scottish people on sight.

David Pugh, council leader on the island, said her comments were “ridiculous”, while Tory MP Andrew Turner said they were “clearly rubbish”.

In an email to Mr Pugh, the actress wrote: “Thank you so very much for understanding that not only were my remarks on a late night comedy show (comedy being the operative word) but I also mixed up my islands – I think it was the Isle of Man that used to enjoy the privilege of being allowed to shoot Scotsmen if they appeared on the beach.”

She added: “The last thing on my mind was accuracy . . . I truly appreciate your commonsensical and courteous response and hope to get a visit in sometime soon.”

Mr Pugh told the Daily Telegraph: “I was pleased with the response, showing what a good sport she is, although I am not sure whether the Isle of Man will be.”

Homosexuality was illegal on the Isle of Man until 1992 and the age of consent was equalised in 2006.

Currently, the island partially recognises UK civil partnerships.

Ms Thompson made the joke on US programme The Late Late Show last month.

When presenter Craig Ferguson described a California resort as “kind of like the Isle of Wight”, Ms Thompson replied: “Oh, so they stone homosexuals there? Nice.”

She continued: “I think they are still allowed to flog them, which of course some of them enjoy. I think they are allowed to shoot Irish or Scottish people if they arrive on the island – it is still in the rules. They are allowed to torture people. It’s lovely, you should go.”

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