Actor Dave Bautista said he got one of his tattoos covered up because of its connections to a former friend who made “anti-gay statements.”
In a video interview with GQ about his tattoos, the “Guardians of the Galaxy” actor pointed to a tattoo on his left forearm of a woman wearing a sugar skull face painting and said that it was previously the team logo of a friend who was “someone I really looked up to.”
“He later came out publicly with some anti-gay statements and turned out to be an extreme homophobe,” Bautista, who stars in the newly released “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” said in the video, which was shared on TikTok. “So I had a huge issue with it. It’s a personal issue with me. My mom’s a lesbian, and I just could no longer call him a friend, so I had it covered up with this.”
Though Bautista doesn’t name the friend, he had previously shared a side-by-side image of the tattoo before and after the cover-up in October 2016. The old tattoo was a flaming meteor, which is the team logo of Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, who also has a meteor tattoo on his left forearm. At one point, Nike sold a T-shirt with the logo on it, ESPN reported.
A representative for Pacquiao did not immediately return a request for comment.
In February 2016, while Pacquiao was running for a seat in the Philippine Senate, a local TV station asked him about same-sex marriage, and he said, in part, “If men mate with men and women mate with women, they are worse than animals.”
After backlash, he apologized in a statement posted on social media.
“I’m sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I’ve hurt. I still stand on my belief that I’m against same sex marriage because of what the Bible says, but I’m not condemning LGBT. I love you all with the love of the Lord. God Bless you all and I’m praying for you.” the full statement said.
Nike terminated its relationship with Pacquiao as a result of his initial comments.
At the time, Bautista also condemned Pacquiao’s remarks, calling the boxer a “f—— idiot” in an interview with TMZ.
“I don’t think it’s funny,” he said. “Put it like this: If anyone called my mother an animal, I’d stick my foot in his a–.”
Asked whether an apology would help, Bautista said, “You can’t come back from that, man. There’s no coming back from that.”
Pacquiao went on to win the Senate seat in his home country in May 2016 and served until last June.