Prison Break actor Wentworth Miller has declined an invitation to a film festival in St Petersburg citing Russia’s anti-gay laws.
BBC News reports that Miller declined the invitation to the film festival citing Russia’s much criticised anti-gay laws and in doing so came out as a gay man. In a letter declining the invite Miller stated “It would make me happy to say yes, However, as a gay man, I must decline”.
The actor is the latest high profile person to criticise the passing of a raft of homophobic laws in Russia. There are calls for a boycott of next year’s Winter Olympics because of the laws. There are also calls for the Winter Olympics to be moved to another country, such as Canada, in response to the rise of homophobia in Russia. Protests against the laws have been held around the world including in London, near the Russian Embassy, with more protests planned in the coming weeks.
Amongst the anti-gay laws to have been passed recently include a ban on same-sex couples adopting children – even if the couple are not Russian – and bans of any material relating to homosexuality to “protect” children. Gay pride rallies have also been banned in several cities including the capital Moscow.
In a letter posted on the website of the American lobby group GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Miller wrote:
“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. 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”.
Wentworth Miller is best known for his role of Michael Scofield in the hit television series Prison Break. Miller’s sexuality has long been the subject of tabloid speculation but up until now the actor had not openly acknowledged he was gay.