Jason Momoa, having drawn ire for taking photographs in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel – where pictures are strictly forbidden – apologised on Sunday (May 15) via Instagram, during a workout, saying he had not intended any offense.
He was fully clothed last Monday when he posted a few photos on Instagram of himself gazing at the masterpiece paintings adorning the ceiling and walls of the sacred space, where photos are prohibited because of the potential danger that the light from camera flashes poses to the centuries-old artwork. He is in Rome filming Fast X, the 10th Fast & Furious movie.
“I LOVE YOU ITALY what a beautiful start to our day off enjoying ROMA,” he captioned one of the photos, of him standing with fans. And fans are who he invoked in his apology video.
“I found people really wanted to take photos with me,” he said in the three-minute video.
In this one he was not fully clothed, delivering an apology while working out, shirtless.
“It’s my last day in Rome, and I just love you and Italy,” he said, after hoisting some dumbbells. “If you ever thought I disrespected your culture, that wasn’t my intention.”
He also said he had “made a nice donation to the church” to allow his friends, castmates and crew to view the chapel during their downtime.
He has done due diligence to cultural sensitivity in numerous film projects, from accurately portraying Maori culture as Aquaman, to telling the legend of Chemehuevi long-distance desert runner Willie Boy in The Last Manhunt.
“I was very respectful, and I asked for permission for what I thought would be okay,” Momoa said. “I would never want to do anything to disrespect someone’s culture. So if I did, I apologise.” – New York Daily News/Tribune News Service