Elton John happy ‘Putin’ prank call highlighted gay discrimination

17 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

After Viral Putin Prank, Elton John Asks for Russian LGBT Rights.

Sir Elton John said on Thursday he was “happy to be pranked” by two Russian television hosts impersonating Vladimir Putin if the incident helped bring gay discrimination back into the spotlight.Sir Elton announced via Instagram two days ago he had received a telephone call from the Russian President and had arranged to meet “face-to-face to discuss LGBT equality in Russia”. Homophobia, however, is never funny,” John posted on Instagram alongside a photo of two men, one with their face bloodied. “I love Russia and my offer to talk to President Putin about LGBT rights still stands. In the 11-minute clip, Sir Elton can be heard thanking ‘Mr Putin’ for his time, saying it is “a great privilege to speak to one of the most influential people in the whole world”.

The pranksters told Russia Today that they simply gave Sir Elton what he wanted: “Unfortunately Vladimir Putin was busy with important state affairs and was abroad. According to RT, the real Dmitry Preskov, and spokesperson for Mr Putin said of the prank revelation: “I would recommend them to offer apologies to Elton John, he is a singer who’s respected and loved by the Russian audience. John had frequently asked to meet with Putin during his trips to Russia in recent years, which made the news of their phone call even more surprising.

It was not good to hoax him like that.” He added that should a request from Sir Elton be re-administered, “the Russian president will be ready to meet him and clarify all questions he has”. The prank comes a week after Sir Elton met with Ukranian President Petro Poroshenko and asked him to “ban discrimination in the workplace based on sexuality and gender identity and provide criminal penalties for hate crimes”. Two Russian comedians had called up Elton and pretended to be President Vladimir Putin and his press secretary Dmitry Peskov after the singer had called for Russia’s leader to change his ‘ridiculous’ attitude towards gay rights. I will always stand up for those that are being degraded and discriminated against.” At the weekend, Sir Elton condemned the Russian strongman’s “ridiculous” stance on gay rights, which has seen a law passed banning homosexual “propaganda” among children in June 2013. Alexei ‘Lexus’ Stolyarov and Vladimir ‘Vovan’ Krasnov told newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda that they had recorded the phone conversation and broadcast it on Evening Urgant, Russia’s first Western-style late-night talk show, shown on the country’s Channel 1 – check it out in the video above.

Mr Putin’s attitude to gay people was “isolating and prejudiced” and “ridiculous”, Sir Elton told the BBC after meeting the president of neighbouring Ukraine. This day and this conversation has been the most wonderful and lovely in my life.'” In November 2014, John railed against Russia’s homophobia during a concert in St. Officials claimed this made the Jobs memorial “homosexual propaganda.” “As a gay man, I’ve always felt so welcome here in Russia,” John told the crowd at that concert. “Stories of Russian fans – men and women who fell in love dancing to ‘Nikita’ or their kids who sing along to ‘Circle of Life’ – mean the world to me. While homosexual acts were decriminalised in 1993, its gay community has reported an upturn in homophobic violence and threats since the 2013 law was passed. The following year Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree banning foreign same-sex couples – as well as single people from countries where same-sex marriages are legal – from adopting Russian children.

If we start punishing people for that, the world will lose its humanity.” As John noted on his Instagram Thursday, although he was a victim of a massively viral prank, the incident has shined a light on the need to improve Russia’s stance on the LGBT community. Sir Elton, a vocal gay rights campaigner, is, however, a popular figure, having first performed in Moscow in 1979 and has used his concerts in the region to condemn the repressive legislations. Mr Putin has declared himself a fan of the Rocket Man, telling Andrew Marr in a BBC interview before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi that he could not be classed as a homophobe because he also had friends who were gay.

He also rejected calls from a Russian parents’ pressure group to block Sir Elton from performing in the country because, they argued, his music constituted the banned “gay propaganda”. Police in Finland have received a complaint after two Swedish comedians erected a makeshift gay bar based on the famous Blue Oyster from the Police Academy films to protest against Russia’s anti-gay laws. Finnish police say they are investigating “some kind of construction” on a Russia-owned seaside plot outside the village of Saltvik on the Aland archipelago in the Baltic Sea after Russia’s consul in the autonomous archipelago filed a complaint. Mad Max will roar back out of the apocalypse while Mad Men rides off into the sunset, rock’s Antichrist Superstar and hip-hop’s Yeezus will rise again.

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