Duck Dynasty star says AIDS is ‘God’s punishment’ for Hollywood sex scandals
As Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey face allegations of sex abuse, Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson has claimed AIDS is ‘God’s punishment’.
Robertson, the star of the popular A&E show and a right-wing pastor, made the claim after Hollywood producer Weinstein was toppled by a sex scandal.
Weinstein was accused of sexually assaulting a number of women, while House of Cards actor Kevin Spacey allegedly made a sexual advance towards a 14-year-old boy.
Addressing the Weinstein scandal in an interview with Catholic news network EWTN, Robertson – who has come under fire previously for homophobic views – cited deaths during the AIDS crisis.
He said: “Can you believe it? there’s rank sexual immorality and perversion coming out of, of all places, Hollywood, California. Is this a stunner or what?
“Look up the Centre for Disease Control. 1110 million Americans have a sexually transmitted disease. Worldwide, almost 40 million, 35 to 40 million individuals are now deceased because of AIDS.
“That’s caused by perversion, that behavior. I’m not making this up. You say, it’s dangerous to your health. Well, yeah.
“So to answer your question, just look at the sexually transmitted disease rate and say, you know what?
“They receive in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. It really is physiological debilitating.”
He added: “Sin is a problem… it can cause you physical, debilitating disease”.
The reality TV star added that Weinstein “can be forgiven” if he turns to Christ, which is interesting, because HIV/AIDS is incurable.
The comments come just weeks after President Trump shared a stage with Robertson at an anti-LGBT rally.
Robertson was suspended from his A&E reality show for less than two weeks in 2013, when he ranted about men who prefer “a man’s anus” over a vagina.
The TV star, who previously claimed that sexually transmitted infections are God’s punishment for gays, previously recorded an ad for Ted Cruz’ Presidential bid and rallied alongside him at events – though he has since backed Donald Trump.
Speaking about secular politicians, he said: “You call it secularism, I just call it the Evil One, the Evil One that controls human beings.
“If you elect depraved souls, you’re going to get depravity. That’s just the way it works.
“If the ones you’re going to elect are going to attack religious liberty, free speech and not allow you to defend yourself, put Supreme Court judges on the bench that will violate your Biblical rights…- everything I do is through the Bible.
“Get married to someone to the opposite sex, keep your sex right there and you will never get a sexually transmitted disease. I would vote for someone who believes that.”
However, he suggested he might throw his own hat in the ring in future if there is not a “Godly” enough candidate in future.
He said: “If they keep fooling around long enough, they’re going to force me to run.
“If you want to see a change in America, get me in there, dude, and there will be a big change then, if y’all are ready for it.”
Earlier this week House of Cards star Kevin Spacey today came out as a gay man following allegations that he made sexual advances on a teenage boy in 1986.
In an interview with BuzzFeed, Star Trek star Anthony Rapp, now aged 46, claimed that when he was a 14-year-old, Spacey invited him to a party at his New York apartment, and while drunk, tried to seduce him by climbing on top of him. Rapp claimed that he managed to flee before the encounter progressed any further.
Spacey said he doesn’t remember the incident over 30 years ago, but apologised for the “deeply inappropriate drunken behaviour.”
Netflix hit House of Cards has already been cancelled in the wake of the allegations.
A representative for Netflix told The Telegraph on Monday: “Media Rights Capital and Netflix are deeply troubled by last night’s news concerning Kevin Spacey.
“In response to last night’s revelations, executives from both of our companies arrived in Baltimore this afternoon to meet with our cast and crew to ensure that they continue to feel safe and supported. As previously scheduled, Kevin Spacey is not working on set at this time.”
The show’s creator Beau Willimon also released a statement supporting Rapp.
The statement reads: “Anthony Rapp’s story is deeply troubling. During the time I worked with Kevin Spacey on House of Cards, I neither witnessed nor was aware of any inappropriate behavior on set or off.
“That said, I take reports of such behaviour seriously and this is no exception. I feel for Mr Rapp and I support his courage.”
And Spacey has been attacked by a raft of celebrities including former cast-mate Zachary Quinto who called him “manipulative” for coming out as gay amid the allegations.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Spacey said he was “sorry for the feelings he [Rapp] describes having carried with him all these years” and said that he wanted to deal with the allegations honestly.
“As those closest to me know, in my life I have had relationships with both men and women.”
Spacey added: “I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man. I want to deal with this openly and honestly and that starts with examining my own behaviour.”
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For many years, Spacey’s sexuality has been discussed and speculated on, while he has remained coy about his gay relationships.
In 2010, Spacey compared the intrigue into his personal life to the bullying of gay teenagers: “I think what we have seen in terms of gay teenagers committing suicide because of bullying is anguishing.
“I think young people, if they are feeling like they are confused, need to know that there are people to talk to and that there are places they can go and not feel alone.”
Spacey added: “But I feel that they have just as many rights as I do to not be bullied. And I don’t understand people who say, ‘Well, this is a terrible thing that is happening to this young person whose life is being exposed,’ and then turn around and do it to another person.
“People have different reasons for the way they live their lives. You cannot put everyone’s reasons in the same box. It’s just a line I’ve never crossed and never will.”