Prison Break's Dominic Purcell apologizes, says 'Vancouver Gulag' Instagram rant was sarcastic

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Image: Dominic Purcell / Shutterstock

An Australian actor who took to his Instagram account to criticize Vancouver’s rainy weather and homeless population, going as far as calling the city a ‘Gulag’ (we think he meant to say ‘Ghetto’), has retracted some of his statements and issued an apology.

On Friday, Dominic Purcell made another Instagram post saying his “acerbic sense of humor has always raised an eye brow” and that “the sun doesn’t shine [only] four days a year.” A blurry logo of the City of Vancouver was used as the post’s image.

“Big #apology to the people who took #offence to my recent rant,” he wrote. “I actually think #Vancouver is a #beautiful city. I was being very #sarcastic and unless you know me it would appear in a very different light.”

This follows a post made last week when he said local governments “turn a blind eye” to the mentally ill and homeless and rather focus their efforts on construction and foreign investment. By this morning, the rant racked up over 20,000 likes and more than 1,000 comments, including many comments criticizing the actor for doing nothing and failing to know the issues and provide context.

The controversial post ended with the following: “Be sure to check out Hastings street not as pretty it’s where you get to see a very very real part of Vancouver. Ps. Can wait to read the hate comments I get. Haha.”

But the latest post seemingly addresses the backlash that he has received since last week’s rant.

“I was merely trying to bring light to the homeless and mentally ill who roam #hastings st and for that matter every other major #city in the world ( which I did say),” Purcell wrote.

“Nothing would please me more to bring light to a problem that can have an affect on helping the homeless and mentally ill. What I do see is a blind eye to the homeless and a big eye to construction serving foreign investment groups???”

The 46-year-old has been in Vancouver for nearly a year filming two television series. He has a main role in CW’s Legends of Tomorrow, and earlier this spring he began filming Prison Break‘s revival season alongside Wentworth Miller.

Friday, May 6

Big #apology to the people who took #offence to my recent rant. I actually think #Vancouver is a #beautiful city. I was being very #sarcastic and unless you know me it would appear in a very different light. In hindsight my acerbic sense of humor has always raised an eye brow iirresponsible to get my TRUE POINT ACROSS …Of course it doesn’t rain nearly every day of the year!!! I’ve been here in summer it’s awesome the weather is amazing!!!, of course #whistler is a beautiful mountain range that brings millions of people around the world to enjoy its benefits , of course the sun doesn’t shine 4 days a year. !! If the media had actually mentioned my self deprecation, my own failings and my #idiotic nature at times and lead the story off with. “THE HOME LESS PLIGHT” I wouldn’t be having this conversation it wouldn’t make news. It’s brought bit press about #Hastings . Now we are talking about people that need help. Honestly My point has been taken out of context. I was merely trying to bring light to the homeless and mentally ill who roam #hastings st and for that matter every other major #city in the world ( which I did say) Nothing would please me more to bring light to a problem that can have an affect on helping the homeless and mentally ill. What I do see is a blind eye to the homeless and a big eye to construction serving foreign investment groups ???? Before I sign off. Rather than send me hate mail about I should do this with that and that with this which actually makes me laugh. !!How bout #educating making points that are actually beneficial that can bring about real change and hope for the homeless and the mentally ill. We don’t need people hiding behind a key board using horrific language and threats unfortunately a common sad fact in this age of #cyberbullying. I’m a big boy been through a lot worse than what’s being hurled at me from a small majority it seems. I’d much much prefer you to use the nasty language and threats to my #apparently steroid riddle out of proportion horrific #actors head. Hahahah. ✌️much love Dom.

A photo posted by Dominicpurcell (@dominicpurcell) on

Last week

VANCOUVERS GULAG ………..#vancouver been here now getting on a #year not a sunny day in sight. I think I’ve seen 4 days of nice weather. People say we had 3 days of #sunshine like #santa just arrived. Well congratulations. I grew up in Australia Yo and have lived in the beautiful sunny #california for twenty years where I #surf and play in the ocean. Oh did I tell you I’m Australian/American. Anyway Stop telling me to go on hikes get on a bike and ride around a Lake or swim in its frigid waters oh and #whistler enough!!! I’m here to work. That’s the only attraction at this point. Not only does Vancouver have a leaking cloud problem they have a homeless population problem that roam the streets in desperate need for help. It appears the Vancouver government and its #politicians to my eyes at least are much more inclined to turn a blind eye too the mentally ill and homeless and rather focus on the enormous amount of construction serving foreign investment groups. Why am I saying this ? Because I’ve been around the world many times and have not seen so many displaced mentally ill people take up entire blocks and turn it into a place of disturbing sadness and horror. It’s the same everywhere I guess not just Vancouver. Yeah yeah I’m preaching which I hate to do because not for a second do I believe I’m some kind of Saint I’m just as flawed just as selfish as the next #idiot. I’m up here in my beautiful hotel suite preaching. But hey it ain’t my job it’s the governments job the politicians job to serve its people. So when you visit Vancouver and enjoy the beautiful lakes, mountains it’s pretty little parks cute little trails. Be sure to check out Hastings street not as pretty it’s where you get to see a very very real part of Vancouver. Ps. Can wait to read the hate comments I get. Haha. A photo posted by Dominicpurcell (@dominicpurcell) on

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Kenneth Chan Deputy Editor & Social Media Manager at Vancity Buzz. He covers stories pertaining to local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation, infrastructure, and anything else that makes a difference in the lives of Vancouverites. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]vancitybuzz.com
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