Last week at a Los Angeles premiere of HBO’s “Big Love,” executive producer Tom Hanks told Fox News that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were “un-American” for pushing through California’s Proposition 8.
This week, he made an official apology for the statement.
“Last week, I labeled members of the Mormon church who supported California’s Proposition 8 as ‘un-American,'” the actor said in a statement through his publicist. “I believe Proposition 8 is counter to the promise of our Constitution; it is codified discrimination.”
“But everyone has a right to vote their conscience; nothing could be more American,” the statement continues. “To say members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who contributed to Proposition 8 are ‘un-American’ creates more division when the time calls for respectful disagreement. No one should use ‘un-American’ lightly or in haste. I did. I should not have.”
At the premiere, Hanks said, “The truth is [“Big Love”]takes place in Utah, the truth is these people [polygamists] are some bizarre offshoot of the Mormon Church, and the truth is a lot of Mormons gave a lot of money to the church to make Prop-8 happen.”
“There are a lot of people who feel that is un-American, and I am one of them. I do not like to see any discrimination codified on any piece of paper, in any of the 50 states in America, but here’s what happens now. A little bit of light can be shed, and people can see who’s responsible, and that can motivate the next go around of our self-correcting Constitution, and hopefully we can move forward instead of backwards. So let’s have faith in not only the American, but Californian, constitutional process.”
Church spokeswoman Kim Farah responded by saying, “Expressing an opinion in a free and democratic society is as American as it gets.”