Jon Bernthal has a message for members of the alt-right using the Punisher logo as a symbol.
Esquire asked Bernthal about alt-right protesters wearing the Punisher's skull emblem. Specifically, they reference the white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville. Bernthal summed up his feelings in two simple words.
“F–k them,” Bernthal said.
Bernthal was clear that those words are meant for alt-righters. Plenty of deployed members of the US armed forces use the Punisher's logo as well. Bernthal has different feelings where they're concerned.
“I feel honored to play a guy who people putting their life on the line identify with," Bernthal says.
Bernthal also offered his take on the Punisher's association with gun control issues. He brought up the church shooting in Texas where a mentally ill man killed 26 people.
“Sometimes when people write about me, it sounds like I’m glorifying the violence…” he said. “I’m a gun owner. I have a gun in my house to keep my family safe. I’m trained in that gun’s use. I know how to keep it away from my kids, and I know how to use it if I need to. Should there be a way that a guy with mental issues like the asshole in Texas can’t get guns? Absolutely. We have to have a dialogue, and that’s not happening.”
"I think you go head on, I think you go head-on," Bernthal said. "I think and I'm not... look, I think art, sort of the best thing that art can do is be a mirror to society and reflect what's going on and make you ask questions, force you to ask questions not necessarily try to answer them and I think one thing that the show does and you know in talking to Steve [Lightfoot,] I'm not even sure whether he did this on purpose or not -- Steve's the writer -- but I really think that there's nothing preachy about this show."
The first season of The Punisher is now streaming on Netflix. Netflix renewed the series for a second season.
Other upcoming Marvel Netflix releases include Jessica Jones Season Two on March 8th, Luke Cage Season Two and Daredevil Season Three later in 2018, and Iron Fist Season Two in 2019.