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Cher: ‘I immediately said no to performing at the Winter Olympics due to Russia’s anti-gay laws’

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  1. Jock S. Trap 16 Sep 2013, 12:17pm

    Good on Cher.

    This is of course where we’ll see who looks at the Sochi Games for the money they can make over the human rights they can make better!

  2. Officer Dribble 16 Sep 2013, 12:19pm

    It’s a difficult situation – by not going, are celebrities voicing their disgust in the most effective way?

    Not sure…

    Personally, I like the Stephen Fry idea – attend the games, but at every opportunity, perform a gesture of solidarity – much like Tommie Smith and John Carlos did with the black power salute, at the ’68 Mexico City Olympics.

    Bowed head / crossed arms perhaps?

    (Sidebar Cher – your new video is MENTAL, in a good way…)

    1. Most of us supported this idea too, then the IOC stated that athletes can be punished for making any political “gesture”. It used to be implicitly against wearing anything provocative, or saying anything publicly that could be considered political, but after Stephen made that suggestion members of the IOC stated that any gesture would also be considered a breach of their rules.

      This has basically ruled out any form of protest, any sign or gesture of solidarity and support for LGBT Russians, and has gagged all athletes participating.

      1. Officer Dribble 16 Sep 2013, 2:09pm

        Blimey…I didn’t know that!

        That’s kinda disgusting.

      2. This has always been in the Olympic charter, despite what you may have read in the gay media, it is not some new move introduced for Sochi…

  3. Good for her – Keep a close eye on those who will participate.

    1. .....Paddyswurds 16 Sep 2013, 12:57pm

      Exactly. Anyone who attends be they athletes or performers should be shunned astracised and villified if they attend. A large chunk of the money these people depend on is the Pink £/$/€ and they should be under no illusion that we wont use that power. The performers may spend a day or two being feted by the homophobic Rus, but they must return to civilisation eventually and expect us to attend their concerts, movies etc. Well No, we wont be party to supporting those who proved themselves homophobes of the vilest kind. The same applies to athletes who will want to use their medals to represent western companies and sell their products; well think again. No one will buy products promoted by homophobic bigots….!! We will be watching!

      1. .....Paddyswurds 16 Sep 2013, 1:05pm

        oops..Anyone who attends be they athletes or performers should be shunned ostracised and vilified if they attend. A large chunk of the money these people depend on is the Pink £/$/€ and they should be under no illusion that we wont use that power. The performers may spend a day or two being feted by the homophobic Rus, but they must return to civilisation eventually and expect us to attend their concerts, movies, etc. Well No, we wont be party to supporting those who proved themselves homophobes of the vilest kind. The same applies to athletes who will want to use their medals to represent western companies and sell their products; well think again. No one will buy products promoted by homophobic bigots….!! We will be watching!

    2. Reggae and rap artist to the front of the cue.

  4. Quote: “I want to know why all of this gay hate just exploded over there”.
    It’s all about hate and a dictator’s attempt to galvanise support for his regime by utilsing the human capacity for it. Hitler perfectly understood this: He said, “the masses are feminine and stupid. Only emotion and hatred can keep them under control”.

    1. Exactly. Hitler was a master of psychological manipulation and control, he knew how to influence mob mentality through his speeches, his mannerisms, through drama and visual impact.
      If you give a public an enemy in times of economic hardship, the masses combine to attack that manufactured enemy. It breeds nationalism, forces free thinkers to comply, silences dissent and creates a hushed and obedient media too scared to be seen as being against the “national interest”.

      This is why it’s so dangerous. Once it is started it is very hard to control. It’s like unleashing a plague on your own people, you cannot control how dangerous it becomes or where it spreads, and it can very easily lead to what happened in Nazi Germany and occupied nations.

      There should be no mistaking, Putin has done exactly what Hitler did, and he’s done it for very specific reasons.

      1. The international community ignores Putin’s anti-gay policies at its peril – in exactly the same way the civilized world chose to look the other way over the plight of the Jews in pre-WWII Germany.

  5. Robert in S. Kensington 16 Sep 2013, 12:37pm

    ‘The Russian people don’t feel the way the government does?’ Really? Then why aren’t the Russian people doing something about it. Good for Cher!

  6. .....Paddyswurds 16 Sep 2013, 12:38pm

    I was never a great Cher fan although I liked her movies, but for her stance in this instance I say “Hurrah” and “Good on ya Girl” the same attitude should be taken by all westerners and people of decent sensibilities in this matter. Let the Rus have their bigot fest. It will look pretty lame and gfoolish when they have no one to compete with but themselves… BOYCOTT SOCHI. The World is watching!!

  7. I’m not much of a fan, but I certainly appreciate this move. The more this happens the more light is cast on this situation.

    Of course, it’ll be very interesting to see who does attend in such a capacity, and whether we’ll see any “western” artists there at all.

    I have a feeling we will, and I have a feeling there’s going to be a significant backlash against anyone who does – rightly so.

  8. .....Paddyswurds 16 Sep 2013, 12:44pm

    Athletes who support the Russian anti gay pogroms by attending the Winter Olympics in Sochi should be ostracised and vilified, and they should have fair warning before they go.
    We have little time left in which to bring as much pressure as possible on western Olympic committees to boycott the Russian games and we must step up our game. Athletes who go there will be hoping to gain medals with which they will then approach commercial concerns in order to make as much money as possible from such wins.
    The gay community is an important economic block when these companies are marketing athletes, as we have the disposable income to indulge these people. If we make it clear that participants in these games will be shunned then I am betting things will change in our favour and more importantly in the disgraceful and inhuman anti gay laws in Russia. Western companies like BP and Cocoa Cola should also be made aware of their folly if they support this homophobic bigot fest!!

  9. Russia should do what Britain did and flood the opening ceremony with home grown international stars.

    Or maybe not.

  10. Key sentence;

    “The Russian LGBT network echoed this view, releasing a statement in July saying: “Do not boycott the Olympics – boycott homophobia! Stand in solidarity with people in Russia.”

    Still, I’m sure Cher knows better than all these Russian LGBT campaigners…

    1. Given her personal experience of having a son that transitioned from F to M, I am pretty sure she has a damn good idea of the subject.

      1. Apologies – until you mentioned it I hadn’t realised that having a trans son makes you an expert on LGBT politics in Russia.
        Thanks for that!

        1. john lyttle 16 Sep 2013, 5:02pm

          Cher has been involved in gay politics – funding, on committees, as a patron and spokesperson – for three decades and more. She’s as qualified to venture an opinion on the matter as… oh, you, I suppose. Or does your viewpoint somehow magically mean more?

        2. Christopher Coleman 16 Sep 2013, 5:22pm

          Cher’s family involvement with a major LGBT issue has sharpened her sensibilities. The Sochi Olympics has become a moral issue and some individuals might have difficulty in understanding how participating in the Olympics is a boycott of homophobia. Would taking a holiday in Hitler’s Germany have been equated with taking a stand against anti-Semitism? The world will go to Sochi and most of the world will not give Russian LGBT rights a single thought. The best way to help the LGBT Russians is to move the Games because of official homophobia. That will leave a dirty mark on Russia for all the world to see. Failing that, boycotting all things Russian is all one can do.

    2. It’s one thing to say the athletes who’ve spent years training for this event should go but Cher is an invited performer, and I’d say she’s making a bigger statement by refusing than by accepting.

      1. .....Paddyswurds 16 Sep 2013, 2:30pm

        The IOC should reschedule to 2015 and have the games in a less ignorant, backward homophobic and dictatorial country….

        1. Of course they should but I can tell you now, they won’t: I don’t get the impression the IOC gives a tinker’s damn for LGBT rights, in Russia or anywhere else.

    3. These campaigners have their opinion, and we have ours.
      They seem to think that boycotts do not work, while ignoring that it was a boycott of South Africa in international Rugby that was a catalyst for the ending of apartheid.

      I have seen a lot of nonsense from The Russian LGBT Network. They seem to be ineffectual, compliant, apologetic and even colluding. It might not be considered fair to suggest it, but it certainly seems to me that the outside world is more concerned with the rights and safety of LGBT Russians than their own “campaigners” are.

      From what the Russian LGBT Network has been saying and doing (or, rather, NOT doing) they come across as nothing more than a knitting club tutting at the abuses going on under their own nose.

      Just what is this organization actually DOING for LGBT people in Russia? I asked myself that question last week and I have yet to find an answer.

      1. john lyttle 16 Sep 2013, 5:09pm

        Given that LGBT people have murdered, mutilated, beaten and raped with beer bottles, I’d say the network you have such superior and withering words for has a very fine line to tread. This is State sponsored terror and death: you want to go over and martyr your brave self, be my guest. Just don’t feel you have the right – though you certainly have the nerve – to push the tormented and suffering into it.

      2. May I suggest BT reads his own post and reflects on how unbelievably patronising and offensive it is?

        I’ve had enough of ignorant idiots like you in the west telling gay people in Russia what’s best.

        Disgusting,

    4. 1. The Russian LGBT network is operating in a place where criticising the government or the country can get you killed- as has happened to a lot of journalists in recent years. It is under grave pressure and will be stepping a lot more carefully than you or other LGBT people here have to. But even here in the UK we have seen Rainbow Hamlets being overeager to trust accommodate institutional homophobes in Tower Hamlets, and to parrot the line that all is well where it clearly is not – the police’s inaction and blind-eying has made it pretty clear LGBT people are largely on their own. But at least the police here aren’t beating up and imprisoning people for protesting for gay rights.

      2. In any case, those comments were made before the IOC and Russian state made it clear that it would regard even the tiniest protest gesture at the games illegal. So while attending doesn’t necessarily mean endorsing homophobia nor can it in any visible way involve ‘boycotting homophobia’.

    5. It’s also worth noting that public opinion will rightly play a part here.
      It would make absolutely no sense for an icon of the LGBT community to attend. Cher is clearly doing this for altruistic reasons, but even if she were not morally inclined to refuse it she would be performing career suicide to accept it.

      Even if she were not doing this for the right reasons, if she attended her career would be significantly damaged.

      But I guess you would choose to ignore that too, no matter how much sense it makes?

  11. Love that woman.

  12. I bet the Russians are just all tore up about this.

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