Jeremy Irons Addresses Past Remarks on Sex Abuse, Gay Marriage and Abortion

"Let me make my views this morning entirely clear on these particular subjects once and for all," the 71-year-old said at the Berlin Film Festival.

Jeremy Irons walked back his past controversial comments about sexual misconduct, abortion and same-sex marriage.

The Oscar winner used the opening press conference for the Berlin International Film Festival on Thursday to clarify his stance on the issues after the annual competition came under fire for making Irons the head of the international jury, according to Deadline.

"I should like, not as the jury president, but on a personal level to address various comments that I have reportedly made in the past, and which have resurfaced in certain sections of the press over the past few weeks," he told reporters.

In 2011, during an interview with the U.K.'s Radio Times, Irons said, "If a man puts his hand on a woman's bottom, any woman worth her salt can deal with it. It's communication. Can't we be friendly?"

Two years later, he told Huffington Post that legalizing gay marriage would allow fathers to marry their sons in order to avoid inheritance tax. He also argued "it's not incest between men" because "incest is there to protect us from inbreeding, but men don't breed."

And in 2016, he said the Catholic Church had a right to call abortion a "sin," according to The Guardian.

"Let me make my views this morning entirely clear on these particular subjects once and for all," the 71-year-old said on Thursday, as reported by Deadline. "Firstly, I support wholeheartedly the global movement to address the inequality of women's rights, and to protect them from abusive, damaging, and disrespectful harassment, both at home and in the workplace."

"Secondly, I applaud the legislation of same-sex marriage, wherever it has been attained, and I hope that such enlightened legislation will continue to spread into more and more societies. And thirdly, I support wholeheartedly the right of women to have an abortion, should they so decide," he added.

"I hope that's put my past comments to bed," the "Reversal of Fortune" star ended his speech.

Joining Irons on the international jury are Kenneth Lonergan, Bérénice Bejo, Bettina Brokemper, Luca Marinella, Annemarie Jacir and Kleber Mendonça Filho.

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