The Russian Olympics has been the source of a lot of controversy. With Russia’s Anti-Gay law prohibiting athletes to perform, it seems that other celebrities are bowing out of the Olympics too.
E! News has reported that singer, Cher, will not be performing in Russia.
“I can’t name names but my friend called who is a big oligarch over there, and asked me if I’d like to be an ambassador for the Olympics and open the show. I immediately said no,” Cher said in an interview with McLean’s.
Cher joins a long line (and ever-growing) list of celebrities who are taking a stand against Anti-Gay Laws. British actor and comedian Stephen Fry wrote to the IOC and asked for a relocation of the games.
In his letter, Fry reminds the recipients of the 1936 Berlin Olympics which fuelled Hitler. He then goes on to describe his encounter with the people who introduced these laws, writing, “I looked into the face of the man […] All I saw reflected back at me was what Hannah Arendt called, so memorably, ‘the banality of evil.’”
George Takei also took to his website to express his hope of moving the Olympics.
“Many believe that such a call to move the Olympics out of Russia goes too far. Would this be their opinion if the law instead called for the arrest of any Jews, Roman Catholics or Muslims should they display any sign of their religion, such as a wearing a yarmulke or praying while facing Mecca? Discrimination in any form is a blight upon the Winter Games, and it must not be tolerated.”
American president Barack Obama even added his opinion during a sit-down on The Tonight Show: “I think Putin and Russia have a big stake in making sure the Olympics work. And I think they understand that for most of the countries that participate in the Olympics, that we wouldn’t tolerate gays and lesbians being treated any differently.”