Two weeks after Manny Pacquaio publicly compared homosexual people to animals -- and a little more than a month before the boxer's bout with Timothy Bradley -- HBO released a statement regarding his controversial comments.
It does not approve of them.
But, the network said, it will nonetheless produce and distribute Pacquiao-Bradley III, which the Filipino superstar has said will be his last match before retirement.
“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," HBO stated.
"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."
Pacquiao was one of several candidates for the Philippine Senate who were asked their views on same-sex marriage during an interview broadcast by the Filipino television network TV5 last month.
"It's common sense. Will you see any animals where male is to male and female is to female?" Pacquiao answered.
"The animals are better. They know how to distinguish male from female. If we approve [of] male on male, female on female, then man is worse than animals."
Pacquiao apologized for the comparison but has continued to stand by his views about homosexuality. Nike ended its business partnership with Pacquiao that week, calling his comments "abhorrent."