AceShowbiz - Comedian David Cross has come under fire for poking fun at Mormon undergarments in a Twitter post promoting his upcoming show in Utah.
On Saturday, August 18, the star shared a doctored image of himself taken from his cult sitcom "Arrested Development", in which his character was shown wearing a two-piece underwear set in red.
In the altered picture, the red clothing had been made to look white, so that it appeared strikingly similar to the sacred undergarments worn by religious members of the Mormon faith, of which there are many in Utah.
Holy "moly"! My opening 10 minutes are going to be on fire!!!— )))David Cross((( (@davidcrosss) August 19, 2018
Read the replies for some underwear fun. https://t.co/H95PqLVb18
A message alongside the image, designed to advertise his Wednesday night (August 22) stand-up show on the Salt Lake City campus of the University of Utah, read, "Utah! Learn the real truth!"
A number of Mormon Twitter users took issue with the post and slammed Cross for what they claimed was religious bigotry, as others called on school officials to scrap the gig as punishment for causing offence.
— Bentley Mitchell (@bentleyjmitch) August 19, 2018
This is not a joke. Just offensive and disrespectful. This does not promote values of belonging, acceptance and tolerance for others. The U of U can do better. Cancel the show as David Cross should not profit from a message of hate and disrespect.— Todd Arave (@ToddArave) August 19, 2018
However, University of Utah President Ruth Watkins has since released a statement addressing the drama, insisting the event, which is not officially connected to the school, will be going ahead as planned.
"We acknowledge the free speech rights of individuals and entities who rent university facilities - even those with whom we disagree," Watkins explained. "By doing so we protect the free speech rights of all."
Statement from President Ruth Watkins on a David Cross tweet promoting his performance at Kingsbury Hall.— University of Utah (@UUtah) August 19, 2018
*Note: This performance is being produced through an outside promoter renting the public venue and is NOT affiliated with the University of Utah.*https://t.co/obKsEu7JeLpic.twitter.com/zT8msgdEci
Meanwhile, Cross seems unfazed by the backlash, and returned to social media on Sunday to laugh off the complaints.
"Holy 'moly'! My opening 10 minutes are going to be on fire!!!" he quipped.
Cross is no stranger to controversy - last year, actress Charlyne Yi previously accused him of racism and sexism during an encounter several years ago. Cross subsequently apologised, but insisted he didn't remember the incident in question.