Wentworth Miller publicly refused to visit Russia protesting the anti-gay law signed recently by the Russian President V. Putin. “Prison Break” star declined an invitation to the St.Petersburg International Film festival proudly admitting his gay orientation and sympathizing with the victims of the law. If he went to Moscow, he might go to jail for up to 15 days for his position.
Miller’s sexual orientation was questioned by many of his fans, but he has never before openly admitted being a gay; however, faced with the opportunity to be a “Guest of Honor” at the St.Petersburg International Film festival he broke his privacy protesting victimization of gays in Russia.
In a letter to Maria Averbakh – director of the Festival – posted on GLAaD’s website he wrote:
“I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government. The situation is in no way acceptable, and I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly.”
The declining might have come difficult to Miller. He has known as “Uniter” valuing his roots. He has Afro-American, Jamaican, English, German, Jewish, Cherokee, French, Dutch, Syrian, Labaneese blood in his veins and, curiously, Russian blood too through his mother. He has previously been in Russia, enjoyed the visit, and still hopes to go … if the situation changes, of course.
It doesn’t look like it will in the near future.
To the contrary, after gays were decriminalized in Russia in 1993, in the years of 2000th public attitude is turning toward homophobia.
No gay pride parade will be held in Moscow for the next 100 years according to the decision of Moscow parliament taken in 2011. In 2013 Russian president signed the bill approved by Russian parliament prohibiting the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations to minors” implying not only fines, but sending people to jail if they break this law.
There are no same sex marriages, or right to adopt children by homosexual couples. There couldn’t be even any open discussion about homosexuality since it might be interpreted as propaganda. For example, in July 2013 a Dutch crew was charged for “propaganda” while filming a documentary about gay rights in Russia. The crew members were simply asking teenagers about their attitude toward homosexuals. The charges were dismissed later.
There were few incidents in Russia when people were fired, beaten and even sadistically killed just because they were open about being gays. Officials reported 12 homophobic attacks in Russia in 2012, but unofficially the number is larger, because homophobic attacks are not always reported as such, and people suffered from hate-crimes are simply scared to come out.
There is a public outcry going on worldwide supported by human right activists and celebrities over the gay rights in Russia. They call to boycott “Miss Universe” pageant and Sochi’s Winter Olympic Games and refuse to support Russian government in any way.
Tons of Russian vodka was flashed down the drain by international protesters.
Tilda Swinton recently was posing on the Red Square in Moscow holding the rainbow flag. Her picture immediately was wired by Facebook and Twitter.
Lady Gaga publicly called Russian government criminal. Comedian Stephen Fry compared V.Putin to Hitler. Reporter James Kirchick invited to the Russia. Today program in a live show refused to discuss Bradley Manning sentencing, but gay rights.
Now Wentworth Miller joined his voice to the world outcry over the gay rights in Russia making clear there is no honor for him to be in Russia while hate crimes and jail sentencing for acting like a gay are still intact there.
Written by Alsu Salakhutdinov