MasterChef EXCLUSIVE: Reynold Poernomo says he's doing 'very well' despite backlash over his homophobic comments - as he steps out for
MasterChef EXCLUSIVE: Reynold Poernomo says he’s doing ‘very well’ despite backlash over his homophobic comments – as he steps out for dinner with gay co-star Khanh Ong
MasterChef’s ‘dessert king’ Reynold Poernomo seems to have been forgiven by his gay co-stars after his homophobic forum posts from 2014 were exposed last month.
The 26-year-old chef appeared to be in good spirits as he went out for dinner in Sydney on Thursday night with fellow contestant Khanh Ong, who is gay.
Reynold told Daily Mail Australia he was doing ‘very good’ and that his business, KOI Dessert Bar, had been ‘really busy’ lately despite the COVID-19 recession.
Back in the fold: MasterChef’s ‘dessert king’ Reynold Poernomo seems to have been forgiven by his gay co-stars after his homophobic forum posts from 2014 were exposed last month
However, he refused to comment specifically on the backlash surrounding his past homophobic comments.
The fact Reynold was spending time socially with Khanh, 28, is significant in light of the fact he once held virulently anti-gay views in his youth.
As first reported by Daily Mail Australia, he had previously said on bodybuilding.com forums back in 2014 that gay people should be ‘captured and put on an island’.
Friends again! The 26-year-old chef (right) appeared to be in good spirits as he went out for dinner in Sydney on Thursday night with fellow contestant Khanh Ong (left), who is gay
Good spirits: Reynold told Daily Mail Australia he was doing ‘very good’ and that his business, KOI Dessert Bar, had been ‘really busy’ lately despite the COVID-19 recession
Reynold, using the profile name ‘reyreyy’, had posted a shocking comment in a thread titled ‘First gay couple featured on the Disney Channel. Do you agree with them?’
The then 20-year-old wrote: ‘I wish the world made a united decision where they will capture all gay people and put them on a remote island full of gays, that way straight [people] will be happy and the freaks can go on and f**k themselves.’
That comment was followed by another on a thread titled: ‘Is homosexuality a mental illness?’
‘Yes end of thread,’ Reynold responded.
Moving on: He didn’t comment on the backlash surrounding his past homophobic comments
He later apologised for the hateful comments, telling Daily Mail Australia on May 29 that he was ‘deeply ashamed’ of himself.
‘I would like to offer my sincere and deepest apologies for the comments that I made in 2014. I am ashamed of these comments and I regret them immensely,’ he said.
‘At the time these comments were made, I was a very immature, close-minded and insular 20-year-old. I have grown and matured a lot in the last six years. I am not the person I was back then.
‘I have many friends and colleagues that are part of the LGBTIQ+ community. I wholeheartedly support them and care deeply for them. I am truly sorry and apologise for any offence or hurt I caused.’
Khanh isn’t the only gay MasterChef contestant to support Reynold in the wake of the scandal, as Reece Hignell also said earlier this month that he’d forgiven him.
‘I trust when Reynold says he is different now. I am friends with him and know him and I believe what he said when he apologised,’ Reece told The Daily Telegraph.
‘If you aren’t able to develop as a person, how will equality ever happen? My personal belief is that if Reynold wasn’t able to change his opinion over the last six years, then how are we going to change the world,’ he added.