The actor and screenwriter tattoo guy Wentworth Miller, the star of US drama Prison Break, has publicly disclosed he is gay in a letter declining an invitation to be a guest of honour at the St Petersburg international film festival in protest against Russia’s recently adopted anti-gay laws.
In his letter Miller, 41, who starred in the Fox show, wrote: “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 I gay man, I must decline.
The letter was written to the film festival’s director, Maria Averbach, and was posted on the GLAAD website, which monitors media representation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and issues.
The actor and producer, who was born in Britain, added: “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. Until then. Wentworth Miller.”
Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, signed a law in July banning the adoption of Russian-born children by gay couples. In June another bill classified “homosexual propaganda” as pornography, with fines and arrests for those making it accessible to minors. Last year a law was passed banning gay pride events in Moscow for the next 100 years.
The Russian laws have triggered protests in the US, with activists pouring Russian vodka in the streets. The laws have also caused concern among some athletes heading to Russia for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games and there have been protests by sportsmen and woman.
David Cameron is under pressure from activists to raise the issue with Putin during the G20 summit in September.
The prime minister recently met Stephen Fry after the comedian and presenter called for a boycott of the Sochi Games, comparing the situation to the decision to hold the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany. Fry’s call received public support from the actor Rupert Everett.
Russia has reacted defensively to the public pressure over its new laws, with its sports minister, Vitaly Mutko, claiming it was an “invented problem” whipped up by western media.
Miller, who played incarcerated structural engineer Michael Scofield in Prison Break from 2005 to 2009, wrote the script for the film Stoker, starring Nicole Kidman and directed by Park Chan-wook.
GLAAD spokesman Wilson Cruz said: “Wentworth’s bold show of support sends a powerful message to LGBT Russians, who are facing extreme violence and persecution: you are not alone. ”
He added: “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.”
Source : http://www.theguardian.com
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