AceShowbiz - Joshua Bassett shares his Christian faith in public but it appears that not everyone is a fan of it. The "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" actor has sparked controversy after preaching about God during his Kids' Choice Awards acceptance speech.
The 22-year-old actor, who was recently baptized by the notoriously anti-LGBTQ+ Bethel Church while himself is a queer, took the opportunity to give a sermon to the assembled audience and viewers at the awards show. "I want to say something. There are a lot of people here who are burdened, broken-hearted, and have been beaten down by life," he said while accepting the award for favorite male TV star for his role as Ricky on "HSMTMTS".
"I'm here to tell you, for those of you who've lost hope, there's a very real God who loves you more than you will ever possibly know," Joshua continued. The actor and singer then concluded his speech by saying, "His promise is peace and my testimony is my healing. Remember, forgive quickly, love freely and walk courageously. Love always wins in the end."
Fans have continued to voice worries about the star's sudden switch in direction after coming out as part of the LGBTQ+ community. But whereas there was once concern, for some, the tone has now shifted to anger.
"This is so gross, why the hell would Joshua Bassett pull this s**t to an audience of children?" one Twitter user wrote. Another called the speech "weird behavior," as writing, "joshua bassett needs to stop playing missionary immediately...white christians would be flipping their lids if someone of another religion got on stage at a kids award show & tried preaching to the audience. it's weird behavior."
Someone else remarked, "WHY TF IS JOSHUA BASSETT GIVING A F**KING SERMON AT THE KID'S CHOICE AWARDS HELP MEEEEEE [crying emoji] time and place joshua!" A different critic chimed in, "not joshua bassett trying to recruit ppl for church at kids choice awards. lmao can we stop inviting him to awards if he's gonna pull this?"
Joshua first mentioned his religion while performing at a pop-up concert in Los Angeles earlier this year. He told the audience that his "Father [had] saved" him, prompting some fans to think he was referring to conversion therapy.
Critics pointed out that while religion in itself is not the problem, the evangelical Christian megachurch that Joshua seemed to be immersing himself in espouses anti-LGBTQ+ beliefs. Addressing fan concern, the young star issued a statement that read, "i visited this church and happened to get baptized here- i was unaware of some of their policies and beliefs, and do not endorse all of them. my heart is for Christ and Christ alone!"