Novelist John Irving attacks 'intolerant' Trump in defence of political awards speeches

Oscar-winning novelist John Irving has taken aim at United States President Donald Trump over the latter's threat to LGBT and abortion rights as well as religious-based bigotry.
Oscar-winning novelist John Irving has taken aim at United States President Donald Trump over the latter's threat to LGBT and abortion rights as well as religious-based bigotry.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG NEWS

LONDON (The Guardian) - Oscar-winning novelist John Irving has taken aim at United States President Donald Trump over the latter's threat to LGBT and abortion rights as well as religious-based bigotry.

Irving, who won a best adapted screenplay Oscar in 2000 for the adaptation of his own novel The Cider House Rules, has contributed an essay to the Hollywood Reporter in which he considered the "protocol" over whether or not award winners should make explicitly political speeches.

Having explained the backdrop and consequences to his own acceptance speech, in which he thanked Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Rights Action League (now known as NARAL Pro-Choice America ), Irving states bluntly that "yes, The Cider House Rules is a pro-choice film".

Describing Mr Trump as a figure of "outright bias", and vice-president Mike Pence as a "sexual dinosaur", Irving writes: "In Trump's administration, LGBT and abortion rights are in danger."

Irving also touches on Mr Trump's travel ban, calling it "discriminatory" and that it has "already helped the hardliners in Iran".

He adds: "In (the artistic) community, tolerance of intolerance is unacceptable. President Trump's intolerance is glaring."

However, he says he does not advocate a complete shutdown of pro-Trump voices.

"People who are disinclined to speak out (politically) should not be harassed. If there are Trump supporters, let them speak. What I'm saying is that anyone with something political to say should feel free to say it."