Russia’s new anti-gay propaganda law has prompted global backlash for the awful bias and homophobia it demonstrates, and the harassment and unfair treatment of the LGBT community it will cause. The law bans “discussion” of “non-traditional sexual relationships” with minors. Those found to have broken the law will be subject to fines and even prison.
With the world descending on Sochi in about six months for the Winter Olympic Games, calls for a boycott are getting louder. Just today, an American runner Nick Symmonds, who won a silver medal at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow criticized the law, saying that he would like to wear a rainbow pin, but it’s “very clear that will land you in jail.” The International Olympic Committee has asked how this will be enforced. Rep. Nancy Pelosi was far stronger in her condemnation of the law, calling it “outrageous” that Russia would “criminalize equality.” President Obama said he was “offended” by the law.
Also today, FIFA asked for “clarification” ahead of the 2018 World Cup, which will take place in Russia. And Andy Cohen says he won’t be going to Moscow to co-host the Miss Universe pageant because it’s “unsafe” for gays and he “doesn’t feel right as a gay man stepping foot in Russia.” Because of your horrible law, you miss out on the awesomeness of Andy Cohen. Sucks for you.
All of this controversy is surely causing some sleepless nights for the folks at NBC, which will be broadcasting the Games. The network is expecting to pull in $800 million in advertising, which Buzzfeed says would be the most ever for a Winter Olympic Games.
“So far, brands that have bought advertising time on NBC remain committed, but with six months left to go before the opening ceremonies and the potential for a boycott rising, a lot can happen that could change their minds,” the site says.