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Hollywood has a chance to use powerful influence against government-sanctioned human rights violations in Russia
WASHINGTON – Today, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Chad Griffin sent a letter to the heads of the six major American film studios and the Motion Picture Association of America regarding the recently-passed Russian law criminalizing “homosexual propaganda.” The letter aims to raise awareness about this heinous law in the hopes that studio executives will use their influence to advocate for its repeal when considering future production, promotion and distribution options in Russia.
“There are few industries better positioned to help bring justice to LGBT Russians than yours,” Griffin wrote in the letter. “You have never failed to lead in the past. Now, I’m asking you to act again and to act quickly—before even more Russians have their lives destroyed by an unjust law.”
In June, a law banning "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" was passed by Russia’s Federal Assembly and signed into law by President Vladimir Putin. Under the guise of protecting children from "homosexual propaganda," the law imposes fines or jail time to citizens who disseminate information that may cause a "distorted understanding" that LGBT and heterosexual relationships are "socially equivalent." The fines are significantly higher if such information is distributed through the media or Internet.
Foreigners, such as those visiting Russia for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, will not only be fined but also face arrest and up to 15 days in jail, followed by eventual deportation, according to the new law.
Earlier this week Griffin sent a letter to the leadership of NBCUniversal, calling on the company to use its exclusive coverage of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games to expose this heinous law. The letter comes just days before the network is set to unveil its plans for the Winter Games at the annual Television Critics Association meeting on Saturday.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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