Is There an Iron Curtain Coming for Performers?
BY Lucas Grindley
August 17 2013 10:19 AM ET
A Russian concert promoter who has brought the likes of Lady Gaga and Madonna to his country — only to have them speak out against antigay laws there — is asking Vladimir Putin for a compromise that lets big acts continue performing.
The Guardian reports that Yevgeny Finkelshtein, president of PMI, wrote to Putin this week along with a list of 27 other industry figures and called for a new kind of visa for foreign artists. The new visa would eliminate the loophole that lets stars be selectively prosecuted.
The request comes after Lady Gaga and Madonna used their massive concerts as a stage for promoting LBGT rights. Local authorities attempted to prosecute them under the country's so-called "propaganda" law, which bans any talk of gay people while in the presence of minors. The attempt failed with the judiciary. So instead the performers were prosecuted under a technicality in their visas.
If Putin doesn't change the rules, Finkelshtein told The Guardian it will "inevitably lead to the country's isolation from world culture."
For her part, Gaga has basically dared Russian authorities to arrest her.
"Sending bravery to LGBTs in Russia," she wrote on Facebook and Twitter earlier this month in response to the attacks on her visa. "The rise in government abuse is archaic. Hosing teenagers with pepper spray? Beatings? Mother Russia? The Russian government is criminal. Oppression will be met with revolution. Russian LGBTs you are not alone. We will fight for your freedom. Why didn't you arrest me when you had the chance, Russia? Because you didn't want answer to the world?"
- Buck Angel Shuts Down Transgender Surgery Fundraising Site
- Blogger: Salvation Army No Friend to LGBT Folks
- WATCH: Trailer for the Wachowskis' Jupiter Ascending Premieres Online
- Mich. Governor Condemns RNC Member's Latest Antigay Remark
- PHOTOS: India's Supreme Court Reinstates Sodomy Ban
- The Queer Quotient at the SAG Awards
- Women WATCH: Michelle Chamuel Returns to The Voice with 'Go Down Singing' 29 min 14 sec ago
- Politics Mich. Governor Condemns RNC Member's Latest Antigay Remark 38 min 13 sec ago
- Marriage Equality WATCH: Right Wing Swoons Over Antigay Baker 54 min 45 sec ago
- Travel What Airline Scored 100% on HRC's Corporate Equality Index? 54 min 54 sec ago
- Entertainment News The Queer Quotient at the SAG Awards 1 hour 36 min ago
- Entertainment News GQ Germany Features Famous Straight Men Kissing for Tolerance 4:28 PM
- Women WATCH: Kim Stolz's Ridiculously Beautiful Wedding Video 3:34 PM