Demi Lovato has provoked anger from Russians, after two of her male back-up dancers, one naked apart from a picture of President Putin’s face covering his genitals, shared a kiss onstage at her concert.
The kiss took place during Lovato’s performance of ‘Really Don’t Care’, at New York Pride on Sunday.
Social media users have attacked the the singer for the “disrespectful” and “unacceptable” stunt, telling her to “leave politicians to deal with their countries’ laws on their own”.
Responding to the criticism, she tweeted: “I never called anybody a piece of shit… But I did have Putin struttin’ in a rainbow thong. Get your facts straight bitchesss.
“Yesterday was incredible. So happy. I love you @NYCPride!”
The official music video for the song, released last week, was filmed at Los Angeles Pride on June 8. Lovato, who was grand marshal at the event, told NewNowNext: “I realized the song kind of had this negative energy to it that’s really not me. When it came time to record the music video, I thought, ‘what’s a way we can turn this into an empowering message?’
“It just so happened to fall on the timeline of Pride… so I said, why don’t we just shoot it at Pride? It was one of the best days of my life.”
Last month, Lovato publically paid tribute to her grandfather, whom she said was a gay “trailblazer” who came out in the 1960s.
Also in June, President Putin claimed that gay people are not oppressed in Russia because the country “does not have criminal prosecution for homosexuality” and does not apply the death penalty.