Jean-Claude Van Damme has been criticised for comments he made about same-sex marriage during an appearance on French TV over the weekend.
The actor, who has starred in such films as Street Fighter, Sudden Death and The Expendables 2, made the offensive remarks during a guest appearance on the talk show On n’est pas couché on Saturday evening (June 30).
Van Damme clashed with the French Minister for Gender Equality, Marlène Schiappa, on a number of occasions during the show (including one instance where Schiappa accused the actor of ‘mansplaining’, which you can see in the below clip), with the pair later coming to a head as Schiappa questioned the actor on his views about same-sex couples. [via Pink News]
After Van Damme said that he believed that a woman’s role in a family should be to take care of the children while the man goes out and provides for the family, Schiappa asked: “According to your theory, if a man marries another man or a woman marries a woman – how does that work?”
In response, Van Damme said: “Men marry other men? Men get married, women get married, dogs get married… Everybody is getting married and everybody is getting divorced.”
Schiappa, noticing that the audience had laughed at Van Damme’s comments, said: “I’m sorry, but this is not funny. This is the day of the Pride parade where people march to defend their rights.
“I find this shocking,” she continued. “There are people who are beaten and insulted because they are homosexual. We need to support them rather than mocking them, saying they are dogs.”
Van Damme then attempted to defend himself by saying: “I have a lot of friends who are gay. If they want to get married, that’s OK.
“But the question is, if all the boys marry each another and all the women marry each other, how are we going to have children?” he said, jokingly.
The French media outlet LCI have since reported that France’s broadcasting standards organisation, the Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel, received over 20 complaints from viewers about the Van Damme-featuring edition of On n’est pas couché.