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Michael Imperioli clarifies remarks forbidding ‘bigots and homophobes’ from watching his work

<i>Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP</i><br/>Michael Imperioli arrives at the 29th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on February 26 at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles.
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Michael Imperioli arrives at the 29th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on February 26 at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles.

By Lisa Respers France, CNN

(CNN) — Michael Imperioli is explaining his recent remarks about a CNN story headlined, “Michael Imperioli forbids ‘bigots and homophobes’ from watching his work following Supreme Court ruling,” which caused a stir.

“The Sopranos” star posted a screen grab on his verified Instagram account with a caption that read, “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,” Imperioli wrote. “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.”

The US Supreme Court recently delivered some historic decisions including one that gutted affirmative action and another in favor of a Christian web designer in Colorado who refused to create websites to celebrate same-sex weddings because of the web designer’s religious beliefs.

Imperioli’s large body of work includes the critically acclaimed film “Goodfellas” and the HBO series “The White Lotus.” (CNN is owned by HBO’s parent company.)

The actor wrapped up the Instagram caption writing, “Anyway, the post certainly got the message across to most and did it’s job. End of story.”

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