Romani celebrity distances himself from far-right party and politics in general after local campaign event in the Czech Republic
The actor and Romani community member Zdeněk Godla has distanced himself from both the "Freedom and Direct Democracy Movement of Tomio Okamura" (SPD Tomia Okamury) and the PRO (Právo Respekt Odbornost / Law Respect Professionalism) party in Chomutov, Czech Republic after making an appearance at the beginning of June at an event organized by them for International Children's Day there. Godla has issued a statement saying that by attending he got caught up in "political games and did not think through what the consequences would be."
Godla participated in an International Children's Day event on 3 June that turned out to be part of the joint campaign being run by PRO and SPD ahead of the local elections this fall. Czech MP Jaroslav Foldyna (SPD) and the lawyer Jindřich Raichl (PRO) were at the event as well, for example.
Foldyna in particular had already published a photograph of himself with Godla at the end of May, prompting the tabloid media to begin speculating as to whether Godla actually supports the SPD. "He supports the SPD," Foldyna told the tabloids at the time.
Godla then told local news server Chomutovky.cz, directly in an interview at the International Children's Day event, that he supports both PRO and SPD in particular in their joint run for the local elections in September. Yesterday, however, he said he now is distancing himself from the two parties and does not support them.
"I consider that to have been an error today, and I would like to distance myself from both those groups and all other political activities," Godla writes in a statement sent to news server Romea.cz. "This statement is also my apology to all who were hurt by my words of support for the movement of PRO and SPD. Anybody can make a mistake, I believe it is important to find the courage to say what one has done wrong."
Statement by Zdeněk Godla
I am making this statement to explain the remarks I made in the interview for the Chomutovky news server on 3 June.
I attended the Children's Day celebrations with my children and my friends. We were invited there by the manager of the political group PRO (Právo Respekt Odbornost / Law Respect Professionalism) who had contacted me to ask whether I would attend, seeing as Chomutov is my home town.
At the event I was approached by a reporter for the above-mentioned news server. I told him I support opinions with which I identify, e.g., about the right to work. Yes, I said I supported the PRO and SPD movements.
I consider that to have been an error today, and I would like to distance myself from both those groups and all other political activities.
Currently I am fully dedicated to acting, I have never taken an interest in politics and I basically don't even want to do so.
Unfortunately, I got caught up in political games and did not think through what the consequences would be.
This statement is also my apology to all who were hurt by my words of support for the movement of PRO and SPD.
Anybody can make a mistake, I believe it is important to find the courage to say what one has done wrong. Nothing of the sort will happen again.
I thank you all for your understanding.
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