Michael Imperioli, the actor best known for his work on <em>The Sopranos</em>, wrote that he has decided to “forbid bigots and homophobes” from watching his work after the Supreme Court ruled last week in favour of a Colorado woman who refused to create websites to celebrate same-sex couples due to religious objections.
“i’ve decided to forbid bigots and homophobes from watching The Sopranos, The White Lotus, Goodfellas or any movie or tv show I’ve been in,” Imperioli wrote in a post on his Instagram account. “Thank you Supreme Court for allowing me to discriminate and exclude those who I don’t agree with and am opposed to. USA ! USA!”
Imperioli posted a screengrab of a news headline about the Supreme Court decision along with the text.
The decision Imperioli opposes represents a major blow to LGBT+ rights dealt by a conservative court that some fear may consider overturning the landmark 2015 ruling that legalised gay marriage across the country.
By a 6-3 vote, the Court ruled in favour of Lori Smith — a web designer who argued that the state of Colorado’s public accomodations law violated her First Amendment rights because it forbid her from discriminating against same-sex couples. Ms Smith did not want to design wedding websites for same-sex couples because of religious objections to same-sex marriage.
The vote broke down along ideological lines, with the six conservatives voting in the majority and the three liberals dissenting. Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion, which was decried by numerous civil rights organisations. The ruling was handed down just before the Court announced its ruling to nullify President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness programme.
Imperioli, who played Christopher Moltisanti on The Sopranos and recently starred as Dominic Di Grasso in the hit HBO series The White Lotus, has long been an outspoken advocate of progressive and liberal causes and candidates and used his social media platforms to broadcast his political views.
In comments on his post, Imperioli wrote that “hate and ignorance is not a legitimate point of view,” and that “America is becoming dumber by the minute.”
A number of observers thanked Imperioli for voicing his support for the LGBT+ community at a time when both the Court and state legislatures in states across the country have limited civil protections and rights for LGBT+ people.
His Sopranos co-star Steven Van Zandt has also voiced support for Democratic candidates and left-wing causes. Imperioli’s partner on the show, however, Drea de Matteo, has expressed very different political views recently.