Russian Newsman Fired for Being Gay Speaks Out on Country

Anton Krasovsky Russia Gay Lib

Anton Krasovsky’s experience offers insight into issue that will most likely play out across the world’s media during the 2014 Winter Olympics

The reaction across the globe to Russia’s anti-gay laws has been vocal and swift, but Anton Krasovsky’s experience offers insight into an issue that will most likely play out across the world’s media during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Krasovsky, fired from Russia’s KontrTV when he disclosed that he is gay, thinks the Kremlin has been surprised by the reaction in the West. “This anti-gay law wasn’t supposed to provoke such a hue and cry. No one expected such a worldwide response. People in the Kremlin feel uncomfortable about being involved in this matter, but they can’t back down,” he tells Variety.

Vladimir Putin was elected last year for his third term as president — an election disputed by many opposition figures. Since then, Russia has become a more repressive and less tolerant society, Krasovsky says, driven by siloviki, a name given to former members of the security services and the military. They are Putin supporters who are now in positions of power in politics and business. “It began right after Putin’s return to the presidency. Maybe he didn’t instigate it, but siloviki got the feeling that they had won the fight, and have started to take their revenge.”

Though there have been calls for boycotts of Russian products and the Winter Olympics, the newsman says, “I am against any kind of boycott. On the contrary: The Sochi Olympics should be converted into a festival of tolerance. The colors of the national uniforms should be changed to rainbow, rainbow flags should be taken together with national ones, and people should cross the stadium with their partners.”

SEE ALSO: Russian TV Anchor Comes Out as Gay On the Air, Gets Fired

Krasovsky believes the solution lies in honest discussions. “We should help Russian gays, and educate straight Russians: They should be told that gays are neither brutes nor maniacs, but Olympic champions. There is hatred of gay people because of ignorance. Ignorant people should be taught.”

He was editor in chief at the Kremlin-controlled KontrTV, and spoke of being gay during a show about Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law in January. It is impossible to have a fair debate in the Russian media about LGBT rights, Krasovsky says. Homophobia is part of the government message, and the vast majority of mass media is controlled, indirectly or directly, by the state.

“Television has turned to stupid propaganda,” he says, adding that the work of a broadcast journalist in Russia has become “unreal.”

“There is no freedom of expression (in the mainstream media). There is some freedom of expression on Facebook pages, minor websites, (radio station) Echo of Moscow, and (independent TV channel) Dozhd, but there is none on the rest of TV,” he says.

As for being openly gay in the media, “It is a violation of a secret rule: You can be homosexual and no one will interfere in your private life — but you shouldn’t talk openly about it. The equality of relationships — the equal value of love — has yet to be accepted.”

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  1. Ted Trent says:

    We are subtitling our film, “Hidden Hills” in Russian (no kidding) and distributing it for free on the Internet so every Russian citizen can download it for free. We weren’t going to do that before their announcement, but now we are. Thank you for the amazing idea Russia. When you try to push any group down, the counter reaction is far stronger. WATCH!!!! at HiddenHillsTheMovie.com

    • therapistinterviews says:

      Great marketing for a funny B movie but how the hell do you think this will do anything for gay rights in Russia? Give me a break!

      • Jeffelliotfisher says:

        OK, I (therapistinterviews) was a bit harsh and deserve your response. The fact of the matter is I strongly believe the that Russian politicians need to be shaken up big time, so if that’s your target then good on you! I also feel that the gay community in Russia needs to know that we are out there and are supporting them. So if that’s what you think you are doing then good on you! But as far as your film educating the straight public and making them more sympathetic I highly doubt it.

        When Pussy Riot did their “punk prayer” I thought it was awesome, since it challenged the status quo and really shook up the powers that be (the government). If Olympians wear rainbow flags, or walk hand in hand, or paint their nails with rainbows I think that’s awesome too – because it brings awareness to the fact that we (the GLBT community) will not be silent and we will be a proud and visible force in change.

        Right now there is some real variation as to what Gay Russians want the world to do for them at this time. Can you say that releasing your film (translated into Russian) for the “general public” will help the general public (many of whom are highly homophobic) to become more sympathetic? Have you run it by GLBTQ community activists and received their support and encouragement? If so then I would say “Good on You!” If not then I kind of wonder what you are trying to accomplish. Again, it’s great for publicity but will it really help the situation? Maybe it will, but I’m not sure why.

        Just my opinion as a gay man and someone who has been actively involved in gay rights.

      • Ted Trent says:

        You aren’t a very good therapist if you can’t figure that one out. Or maybe it’s because you haven’t seen the movie….oh that’s a good start. But I’ll give the B rated therapist some credit, if anything, it will at least piss them off since there entire law is about not PROMOTING the GLBT community…ie…gay movie…promoting…ummm…I don’t know how to better explain it to you. By the way, I also produced and directed the number one music video of the year for the TV channel LOGO back in 2007. It was number one 25 weeks in a row and the Best Music Video of the Year for the TV Channel. Sometimes, when you don’t live or exists in a community like the GLBT community, you don’t don’t understand what a good song, music video, or movie can do for a culture that has been oppressed. Why don’t you go ask an African American what “The Butler” is doing for the African American community, then check back with me. I attended “The Butler” and I must say, it’s amazing what the African American families have to go through. Because I attend many black films as a caucasian American, I keep in touch with what filmmakers feel needs to be expressed. It helps me keep a temperature reading on where things are at. The same thing can be done with an excellent B movie that helps straight better understand what’s going on in the upside down world around us.

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