Homophobes threaten to kill same-sex couple and their children because they starred in an advert
A same-sex parent family has been dogpiled with death threats after they were featured in an advert for a Russian supermarket.
The supermarket chain, called VkusVill, immediately faced furious backlash on social media last Wednesday (30 June) when it ran a promotional story featuring the lesbian couple and their two daughters.
The story was run as part of an ongoing campaign which features families and individuals who shop at VkusVill.
Yuma and Zhenya and their two children, Mila and Alina, faced relentless death threats on social media after the article went live last week, while many other commenters targeted the chain store to accuse bosses of ignoring Russia’s ban on “gay propaganda”.
Mila said she received “threats to murder my family” after their story was posted on VkusVill’s website and she faced vile homophobic abuse.
However, she added that she received “just as many messages of support”.
On Sunday (4 July), the article was pulled from the chain’s website and replaced with an apology from founder Andrei Krivenko, according to The Moscow Times.
“We consider this publication to be our mistake, which was the result of individual employees’ unprofessionalism,” the statement said.
Krivenko went on to suggest that the article “hurt the feelings of a large number of our customers, employees, partners and suppliers”.
“The goal of our company is to enable our customers to receive fresh and delicious products every day, and not to publish articles that reflect any political or social views,” the statement continued.
The apology page features a photo of a conventional, heterosexual family in the place of the image of Yuma and Zhenya’s family.
Russia’s LGBT+ community tells VkusVill that they are ‘not a mistake’
VkusVill has faced fierce criticism from Russia’s embattled LGBT+ community for bowing so easily to homophobia.
“LGBT+ people have been under pressure from a homophobic society all their lives, and VkusVill could not stand it even for a couple of days,” one Russian activist wrote on Twitter.
RussiaForGays, a popular Instagram account, also slammed VkusVill for its decision in a post titled “We are not a mistake”.
The Instagram account branded the chain store “cowardly” for bowing to pressure, adding: “We are people worthy of attention and respect.”
Last week, VkusVill shared the original article and told its followers that it was only intended for the eyes of those aged 18 and over in a bid to get around the country’s “gay propaganda” law.
Under the law, which was introduced in 2013, minors must not be exposed to any materials that could be seen as “promoting” homosexuality.
PinkNews has contacted VkusVill for comment.