HBO distanced itself from star boxer Manny Pacquiao’s recent anti-gay comments, but said it will still distribute the fighter’s April 9 fight against Timothy Bradley Jr.
In a statement released yesterday, HBO labeled Pacquiao’s published statements last month saying that same-sex relationships are “worse than animals” as “insensitive, offensive and deplorable.” The network added that it has an "obligation" to distribute the April 9 Pacquiao-Bradley PPV bout – the third fight between the two fighters. Pacquaio has since apologized for his comments.
Pacquiao is one of the most successful fighters in PPV boxing history. His May 2015 fight against Floyd Mayweather is the most lucrative PPV event of all time, generating more than 4.4 million PPV buys and $400 million in PPV revenues.
HBO's full statement is as follows: “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. 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."
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R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.