Andy Cohen Boycotts Miss Universe Pageant Due to Russia’s Anti-Gay Laws

Andy Cohen - Bravo

Former event host says he would not 'feel right' working in Russia

Miss Universe pageant co-host and Bravo honcho Andy Cohen has boycotted the Moscow-set pageant because of Russia’s new anti-gay laws.

Cohen, who has previously hosted the Miss Universe pageant, told E! News’ Giuliana Rancic that he is “concerned for his safety” in Russia, and thus turned down the gig. Rancic has previously hosted the pageant alongside Cohen.

“The law is that anyone under suspicion of homosexuality can be arrested,” Cohen explained to Rancic, adding he “didn’t feel right as a gay man stepping foot into Russia.”

Last month, Russia implemented a law that bans “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations around minors.” Law, signed by Russian prez Vladimir Putin, also bars the public discussion of gay rights and relationships anywhere children may hear it.

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

The ban has led to outcries from civil rights groups who call the implementation severely discriminatory. Francesco Pascuzzi organized a Change.org petition that called for the Miss Universe Organization to “move the 2013 pageant from Russia because of anti-gay laws.” Over 23,000 have signed the petition.

“Andy Cohen’s decision to boycott hosting the Miss Universe pageant sends a very loud and clear message that Russia needs to be held accountable for its brutal and violent crackdown on gay rights,” said Pascuzzi. “There are more than 20,000 people who’ve signed my petition, and we’re going to keep the pressure on the Miss Universe pageant to pull out of Moscow, in order to make sure all contestants and spectators are safe.”

The Miss Universe Pageant airs in November on NBC. The Peacock was not available for comment at the time of this story.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 9

Leave a Reply

9 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. GILBERT says:

    OTHER THAN RUSSIAS STAND ON OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES, I APPLAUD THEIR DECISION ON STANDING THEIR GROUND ON FAGS. WE AS US CITIZENS SHOULD DO AS WELL. ITS TIME WE DECIDE TO CALL RIGHT, RIGHT AND IF ITS WRONG, ITS WRONG ALL THIS BS ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION IS ALL CRAP, SO ITS TIME TO DO THE RIGHT THING.

  2. GILBERT says:

    OTHER THAN RUSSIAS P

  3. I Tweeted this just now:
    @BravoAndy @realDonaldTrump …certainly there is a slew of countries who should benefit from all the revenue generated. Who don’t oppress.

    @BravoAndy I admire your decision & hope @realDonaldTrump & team will consider shedding a light on other host countries w/open minds/laws…

    Host cities/countries make a lot of money on the tourism that comes from family & fans supporting the show. Plus the contestants themselves bring in money. Mr. Trump has an opportunity to use his celebrity to focus on a country that loves & accepts ALL. Why not a (developing) country that has the infrastructure to support all the pageant needs but that allows everyone there associated with the pageant to live, work, support & perform without fear of being arrested and worse?

    -A former Miss Connecticut USA

  4. hobart says:

    This is just another PR stunt to gain attention on a media blown-up issue. BTW – while the gays in the US are NOT allowed to donate blood to the hospitals, they are welcome to do it in Russia. See if the Russians will care if another media clown boycotts their beauty pageant – I seriously doubt it.

  5. Clarknt67 says:

    You know that children learning that there are gay people doesn’t make them gay, don’t you? You know that gay is not contagious, don’t you?

  6. MD says:

    Jasmine, you’re just dumb. Really dumb. I’m saddened not only by your lack of compassion for other human beings, but also saddened that you’re so dumb. I’m sad for your parents, sad for your children, sad for your neighbors and friends (if you have any). Sad that anyone has to interact with someone who’s so dumb. Go read a less intelligent website and post there…I think they’re for dumb people.

  7. gaychristian says:

    I’m impressed with Jasmine’s ability to make a comment on the internet, considering that she’s clearly living in the 50’s where bigotry and anti-gay thinking was acceptable as sexism and segregation. Also “our young children” may be too young to know the difference human sexuality and oppressive hatred, but a grown woman should know the difference between “to” and “too.”

  8. JW says:

    Good for Andy Cohen. Would someone please tell me how they expect to conduct a beauty pagent without hairdressers and make-up artists, among other member of the crew?

More TV News from Variety

Loading