As the 2014 Winter Olympic games in Sochi, Russia approach, more and more celebrities are making statements against the anti-gay laws recently passed in the country, and making one hell of a statement today was 41-year old actor and Prison Break star Wentworth Miller, who wrote a letter declining his invitation to the St. Petersburg Film International Film Festival because, quite simply, he is gay.
Dear Ms. Averbakh:
Thank you for your kind invitation. As someone who has enjoyed visiting Russia in the past and can also claim a degree of Russian ancestry, it would make me happy to say yes.
However, as a gay man, I must decline.
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.
Perhaps, when and if circumstances improve, I’ll be free to make a different choice.
According to the Gaily Grind, Miller’s coming out is another “powerful” statement of support to the people being ostracized and punished in Russia. Said GLAAD’s Wilson Cruz:
“Wentworth’s bold show of support sends a powerful message to LGBT Russians, who are facing extreme violence and persecution: you are not alone. As people from across the globe continue to speak out against Russia’s horrific law, more celebrities and corporations should follow his courageous lead in openly condemning Russia’s anti-LGBT law.”
Meanwhile, journalist Jamie Kirchick was booted from an appearance on the Russian network RT today when he spoke out against the laws and blasted the program’s hosts for “complying with their paymasters and Vladimir Putin,” according to Politico.