Disney star Joshua Bassett sparks backlash after delivering ‘sermon’ at Kids’ Choice Awards

Joshua Bassett, who was recently baptised by the notoriously anti-LGBTQ+ Bethel Church, has continued to preach to his fans in a bizarre acceptance speech at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards.

While accepting the award for favourite male TV star for his role as Ricky in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Bassett, who is queer, took the opportunity to give a sermon to the assembled audience and viewers.

“I want to say something. There are a lot of people here who are burdened, broken-hearted, and have been beaten down by life,” the 22-year-old actor and singer began.

“I’m here to tell you, for those of you who’ve lost hope, there’s a very real God who loves you more than you will ever possibly know.”

Bassett concluded his speech by saying: “His promise is peace and my testimony is my healing. Remember: forgive quickly, love freely and walk courageously. Love always wins in the end.”

Joshua Bassett accepting his Kids’ Choice Award. (Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty Images)

Fans have continued to voice worries about the star’s sudden switch in direction after coming out as part of the LGBTQ+ community. But whereas there was once concern, for some, the tone has now shifted to anger.

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“This is so gross, why the hell would Joshua Bassett pull this sh*t to an audience of children?” one Twitter user wrote.

Another called the speech “weird behaviour”.

Bassett previously mentioned his religion while performing at a pop-up concert in Los Angeles. He told the audience that his “Father [had] saved” him, prompting some fans to think he was referring to conversion therapy.

They pointed out that while religion in itself is not the problem, the evangelical Christian megachurch that Bassett seems to be immersing himself in espouses anti-LGBTQ+ beliefs.

After a video of Bassett’s baptism drew backlash on Twitter, he stated that he was unaware of the church’s stance on homosexuality.

Bethel Church is renowned for its anti-LGBTQ+ stance and has previously promoted so-called conversion therapy on its social media channels.

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