HBO has condemned Manny Pacquiao’s anti-gay comments but will nonetheless produce and distribute his last fight before retirement.
Last month, the eight-time world champion – who is running for a seat in the Philippine Senate – said gay couples were ‘‘worse than animals’ because even animals ‘know how to distinguish males from females.’
‘Next month Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr are scheduled to meet in a Pay-Per-View bout. We have an obligation to both fighters and, therefore, will proceed to produce and distribute that event,’ the network said in a statement.
‘However, we felt it important to leave no uncertainty about our position on Mr Pacquiao’s recent comments toward the LGBTQ community. We consider them insensitive, offensive and deplorable. HBO has been a proud home to many LGBTQ stories and couldn’t approach this event without clearly voicing our opinion.’
Pacquiao’s comments were widely condemned by his fellow athletes and he was dropped by Nike.
Nevertheless, Pacquiao doubled down and said ‘a lot people were alarmed by the truth’ about gay marriage.