Wentworth Miller Loves Cock and Flips Off Russia
Wentworth Miller is the latest celebrity to speak out in protest of Russia’s widespread anti-gay laws, and while he was at it, he took the opportunity to come out himself. After being invited to the St. Petersburg International Film Festival, the Prison Break star answered the festival director in an open letter that simultaneously criticized Russia’s policies and casually revealed that the actor himself is gay.
In the letter, Miller says that he is “deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government” and that “as a gay man, I must decline.” So casual, so empowering, so beautiful.
It’s heartening to see celebrities band together in protest of President Putin’s backwards, antiquated, utterly inhumane laws. Andy Cohen decided to boycott this year’s Miss Universe pageant, which is taking place in Moscow in November, even though he was scheduled to be a co-host alongside Giuliana Rancic. English actor Stephen Fry even goes so far as to compare Putin’s persecution of gays to Hitler’s persecution of Jews. Fry is one of many who are calling for Russia to be stripped of its Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, likening the upcoming games to the staging of the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, “Softpedaling its antisemitic agenda and plans for territorial expansion, the regime exploited the Games to bedazzle many foreign spectators and journalists with an image of a peaceful, tolerant Germany. Having rejected a proposed boycott of the 1936 Olympics, the United States and other western democracies missed the opportunity to take a stand that — some observers at the time claimed — might have given Hitler pause and bolstered international resistance to Nazi tyranny.” Sound familiar??? Will we miss another chance to take a stand and possibly influence history for the better?
The Russian government has reassured the public that athletes of all sexual orientations would be welcome at the 2014 games. So when your administration has the ultimate opportunity to bolster the country’s economy and cloak the bleak reality of your regime with an image of international integration, you suddenly soften your stance on homosexuality? What about out on the streets, far away from the bright arena lights? Protesters will still be arrested and children will still be taken away from their parents.
As for Miller, who is on the film festival circuit this year for his Stoker screenplay, has always been a relatively private celebrity, and for many years the media wondered, “Is he or isn’t he?” Largely because he was so rarely seen in public with anyone, and his love life remained shrouded in mystery (look up his online dating history and you’ll only find rumored relationships, one of which is with a man). It’s especially poignant when such a private celebrity, spurred by this moment in history, opens up, and opens up completely.
Below is Miller’s full letter to the director of the St. Petersburg International Film Festival.
21 August 2013
St. Petersburg International Film Festival
Right Magic Films Inc.
6715 Hollywood Blvd. Suite 210
LA, CA 90068
Re: St. Petersburg International Film Festival / “Guest of Honor” Invitation
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.
Member, The ManKind Project