No Manx: Island laughs off Thompson's 'stoning gays and shooting Scots' joke
LOCAL government officials in the UK yesterday laughed off comments made by Emma Thompson about stoning gays and shooting Scots.
The actress was appearing on the US TV chat show 'The Late Late Show' last month when she made the remark when discussing holidays.
Thompson initially referred to the Isle of Wight, joking about homosexuals being stoned and a reference to alleged ancient laws allowing locals to shoot Scottish people on sight.
It provoked dismay from officials on the Isle of Wight, with council leader David Pugh describing her claims as "ridiculous".
However, it appears geography is not a strong point for the Oscar-winning star, with her confusing the south coast Isle of Wight with the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea.
In a response to a letter from Mr Pugh, Thompson said the remarks on the late night comedy show were not to be taken seriously and she had "mixed up" the Isle of Wight with the Isle of Man, which only legalised homosexuality in 1992, 25 years behind England and Wales, and thrashed young offenders with the birch until the 1970s.
Yesterday officials on the Isle of Man said they were taking the comments in the spirit they were made -- as a joke.
A government spokesman said: "Emma Thompson was obviously joking so we are not taking her comments seriously.
"For the record, the Isle of Man's exceptional quality of life is enjoyed by a wide variety of residents and visitors including a number of Scots."
The island has also attracted major Hollywood names in recent years to shoot films.