A leading human rights group has set its sights on Hollywood as its next ally to stand up against an increasing anti-gay atmosphere in Russia, including the recent passage of anti-gay laws.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) issued a plea for help to major Hollywood film studios to stand up against the laws, reports the Hollywood Reporter.
HRC president Chad Griffin said in a letter sent to the presidents of Fox, Paramount, Disney, Sony, Universal, Warner Bros, and the MPAA, that LGBT youth in Russia is being “goaded, entrapped and beaten by thugs.”
He goes on to note a law which federally bans the “promotion” of homosexuality, saying: “We have a moral responsibility not to ignore backsliding abroad.”
He says the anti-gay laws, which includes a second which bans the adoption of Russian children by foreign same-sex couples, should be stood up to by foreign human rights groups and ordinary people.
The letter requests that the heads of studio “make clear and visible statements” in support of LGBT people in Russia, and that a stand is made at all Russian film premieres. It also asks them to meet with Russian leaders to demand that the laws be repealed.
The HRC stops short of calling for a production ban in the region, saying only that the laws will have a “chilling effect… on future film production, shooting, publicity and distribution within the Russian Federation.”
President Vladimir Putin signed the law in June banning the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” toward minors, a move that has been criticised as part of a broader crackdown on Russia’s gay community.
The law has so far sparked controversy among LGBT activists, with some calling for a boycott of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Others have also called to boycott Russian vodka as a form of protest.
The full letter is available to read here.