Kirk Cameron, 41, has gone from his television teen idol days to starring in Fundamentalist Christian-themed movies such as Left Behind and Fireproof. Just recently, Cameron has also proven himself to be an outspoken anti-gay bigot, which has brought a swift response from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
While interviewed by CNN's Piers Morgan, Cameron said the following about homosexuality: “I think that it's – it's – it's unnatural. I think that it's – it's detrimental, and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.” (Please scroll down for clips from the Morgan-Cameron interview, in addition to a video featuring Cameron and a banana as proof of God's existence.)
Regarding marriage equality, Cameron explained that “marriage was defined by God a long time ago. Marriage is almost as old as dirt, and it was defined in the garden between Adam and Eve – one man, one woman for life till death do you part. So I would never attempt to try to redefine marriage. And I don't think anyone else should either. So do I support the idea of gay marriage? No, I don't.”
And if one of his six kids turns out to be gay, Cameron, unlike Morgan, “wouldn't say 'That's great, son, as long as you're happy.' There are all sorts of issues that we need to wrestle through in our life. And just because you feel one way doesn't mean we should act on everything we feel.”
On their website, GLAAD is asking visitors to “tell Kirk Cameron it's time to finally grow up.”
Herndon Graddick, GLAAD's Senior Director of Programs, stated that “Cameron is out of step with a growing majority of Americans, particularly people of faith who believe that their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters should be loved and accepted based on their character and not condemned because of their sexual orientation.” (The website, however, fails to provide “gay-rights approval” figures for Evangelical Christians or other religious fundamentalists.)
GLAAD adds that it “will be monitoring Cameron's media bookings and roles with film and television studios to ensure the news and entertainment industry is aware of his outrageous anti-gay views.
“Kirk Cameron joins former TV stars Victoria Jackson and Chuck Norris in desperately trying to remain in the public eye by using anti-LGBT rhetoric. Last year, Jackson described a kiss between Glee characters Kurt and Blaine as 'sickening' and Norris wrote on anti-LGBT site WorldNet Daily that the public education system has devolved into 'progressive indoctrination camps' that train students to 'forcefully defend issues like abortion and homosexuality, as well as become cultural advocates for political correctness, relativism, globalization, green agendas and tolerance for all.'"
Chuck Norris' anti-gay views surely didn't prevent the Invasion U.S.A. star from landing a role in Simon West's The Expendables 2, starring Liam Hemsworth, Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jet Li, and Dolph Lundgren.
Kirk Cameron, Left Behind
As for Kirk Cameron, he hasn't had a very fruitful film career, as the vast majority of his work has been restricted to television. During his Growing Pains heyday in the '80s, Cameron was seen in only a handful of mainstream releases, all but one box office bombs – e.g., Douglas Day Stewart's romantic drama Listen to Me (1989), opposite Jami Gertz, and the Robin Williams-Kurt Russell comedy The Best of Times (1986). The second phase of Cameron's film career is comprised of a few movies geared to Evangelical Christian audiences in the United States.
In Vic Sarin's Armaggedon-themed Left Behind (2001), Cameron plays television journalist Buck Williams, described by the New York Times' Stephen Holden as “the most golly gee-whiz young journalist to appear since Jimmy Olsen stalked Superman.” For all his naiveté, Williams uncovers a world domination plot led by the Antichrist himself: the United Nations Secretary General. Brad Johnson and Cameron's real-life wife, Chelsea Noble co-star.
“The movie's catalytic event is the Christian Rapture: 142 million people around the world are abruptly transported directly to heaven, leaving behind their clothes and personal belongings,” explains Holden. “… It doesn't dawn on most of those left behind until late in the movie that the disappearances are biblical prophecy coming true. The moment they grasp the truth, they tend to fall to their knees in prayer as helpful clerical friends, citing chapter and verse, provide biblical confirmation.”
Left Behind's paltry $4 million box office grosses didn't prevent Cameron from returning as Buck Williams in two sequels: Bill Corcoran's Tribulation Force (2002) and Craig R. Baxley's Left Behind: World at War (2005), both also bringing back Brad Johnson and Chelsea Noble. Additionally, 1982 Oscar winner Louis Gossett Jr. (An Officer and a Gentleman) plays a president in the latter film.
Cameron's biggest Christian box office hit, however, was Alex Kendrick's Fireproof (2008), in which he plays a firefighter struggling to save his marriage. Although overseas grosses were nil, Fireproof took in $33.45 million in North America. Obviously, the religious-romantic drama was no blockbuster, but if it did indeed cost $500,000 as reported it was an undeniable hit – depending, of course, on how much was spent marketing / distributing the film.
Overall, Cameron's most successful movie by far remains Rod Daniel's Like Father, Like Son (1987), in which the 17-year-old Cameron co-starred opposite Dudley Moore. In the U.S. and Canada, the identity-switch comedy brought in $34.37 million, or about $70 million today.
Box office information source: Boxofficemojo.com.
Kirk Cameron Anti-Gay Tirades: Alan Thicke & Roseanne Barr Respond
March 6 update: Kirk Cameron's recent anti-gay remarks on Piers Morgan's CNN talk show have become the target of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and of anti-bigots everywhere.
On Piers Morgan Tonight last Friday, Cameron, a Fundamentalist Christian, referred to homosexuality as “unnatural” and affirmed that it is “ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.” Cameron also stated he was against marriage equality, i.e., gay marriage, and that if one of his sons came out to him, Cameron would teach him that “there are all sorts of issues that we need to wrestle through in our life. And just because you feel one way doesn't mean we should act on everything we feel.”
Responding to Cameron's remarks on Twitter, Alan Thicke, who played Cameron's father in the popular 1980s television series Growing Pains, wrote: “I'm getting him some new books. The Old Testament simply can't be expected to explain everything.”
Tracy Gold, who played Cameron's sister in Growing Pains, tweeted “I am a strong supporter of the #LGBT Community, and I believe in equal rights for all. #NOH8 #LOVE,” while Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson told his followers that “The only unnatural thing about me being gay is that I had a crush on Kirk Cameron until about 24 hours ago.”
Television host Craig Ferguson sort of compared Cameron to another Bible-thumping bigot, Rush Limbaugh: “Rush makes me ashamed to be a middleaged white man and Kirk Cameron makes me ashamed to be a failed actor. We don't all think like that NoH8.”
Roseanne Barr went further: “kirk or kurt or whatever cameron is an accomplice to murder with his hate speech. so is rick warren. their peers r killing gays in uganda.”
Among Kirk – not Kurt – Cameron's feature films are the '80s hit Like Father, Like Son, co-starring Dudley Moore; and several Christian movies such as the Armageddon/Rapture Left Behind flicks and the family drama Fireproof.
Source for the various quotes: The Hollywood Reporter.