Figure Skating | Johnny Weir | News | PETA

Pressured Johnny Weir Switches to Faux Fur for Olympics

Figure skater Johnny Weir says he'll wear faux fur at the Olympics after threats of disruption from animal rights groups angry that he is defiant about its use in some of his costumes.

Said Weir: Weir "I would like to announce that due to pressures and threats from a certain animal rights group, I will be changing the genuine fox fur on my free program costume that I will use in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, B.C., to white faux fur. I made this decision after several threats were sent to me about disrupting my performance in the Olympic Games and my costume designer, Stephanie Handler, was repeatedly sent messages of hate and disgust. I do not want something as silly as my costume disrupting my second Olympic experience and my chance at a medal, a dream I have had since I was a kid. I hope these activists can understand that my decision to change my costume is in no way a victory for them, but a draw. I am not changing in order to appease them, but to protect my integrity and the integrity of the Olympic Games as well as my fellow competitors. Just weeks away from hitting my starting position on the ice in Vancouver, I have technique and training to worry about and that trumps any costume and any threat I may receive."

Weir angered the groups last week by defending his use of it:

"I totally get the dirtiness of the fur industry and how terrible it is to animals. But it's not something that's the No. 1 priority in my life. There are humans dying everyday. There are thousands if not millions of homeless people in New York City. Look at what just happened in Haiti. I tend to focus my energy, if there is a cause, on humans. While that may be callous and bad of me, it's my choice."

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  1. I agree 100% with Johnny about this... PETA is its own parody these days, and the tendency of many animal welfare activists to focus more on kindness to other species above and beyond their own is appalling. They've taken what is a noble intention and twisted it into something nonsensical and sad.

    That said, if Johnny could have used faux fur in his costume from the beginning, why wouldn't he? It seems silly to use real fur for something like this. He made the right decision, even if a bit late in the game.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Feb 3, 2010 9:37:17 AM

  2. If Johnny wants to use fur in his costumes so much, perhaps he should be required to go to the fur farm and kill the animals himself or go out to someone's traps and club the animal to death. And then skin and tan the pelt. It would probably give him a different perspective.

    Posted by: homer | Feb 3, 2010 9:40:44 AM

  3. I agree with you about priorities and human suffering.

    It's one thing for a group to educate and raise public consciousness about animals in a reasonable way. I assume this group is PETA. In my opinion they do their cause far more harm than good with threats such as the one you mentioned.

    This kind of tactic makes me think of the wingnuts who harass pregnant women on their way to a clinic with pictures of gestational fetuses. They, too, do their cause far more harm than good.

    This also brings to mind Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church lunatics.

    I believe individuals drawn to tactics like this have real mental health issues.

    Posted by: Hamilton | Feb 3, 2010 9:49:14 AM

  4. Go Johnny!!! Bring home the GOLD!!!

    Posted by: Name: | Feb 3, 2010 9:50:54 AM

  5. But why does ANYONE need to wear real fur? is it really that big a deal to switch to fake fur?

    I understand what Johnny is saying about priorities - but the fur industry is such an easy wrong to right - why not change over?

    Posted by: Richie | Feb 3, 2010 9:53:57 AM

  6. Homer, it probably would. Perhaps we should all be forced to make our own fur and leather. Or butcher our own meat. Or fertilize our own vegetable fields with tons of manure. Or forge our own steel. Or send civilians into battle. Or deliver our own babies. Or perform our own surgeries.

    There are all kinds of uncomfortable things in the world, of which this is only one.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Feb 3, 2010 9:55:56 AM

  7. I completely disagree with him. He's just a typical gay brat! It is obvious that he's completely out of touch with respecting Animal Rights! Haiti doesn't have anything to do with just doing what's right! I am glad he decided to change his mind and I do not like PETA but his answer to this matter just shows how inmature and uneducated he really is.

    Posted by: Paul | Feb 3, 2010 9:59:46 AM

  8. Another egocentric effeminate gay douche. Yawn.

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 3, 2010 10:04:16 AM

  9. Y'all, anyone who's bitching about him wearing a little bit of fur on his costume had better not be eating meat or wearing leather...

    Posted by: The Milkman | Feb 3, 2010 10:04:35 AM

  10. I just realized I've posted 3 (now 4) times on this subject. That bothers me even more than the original story did. Reality check time. :-)

    Posted by: The Milkman | Feb 3, 2010 10:05:56 AM

  11. "While that may be callous and bad of me, it's my choice."

    ALWAYS THE WRONG ANSWER (especially from a queer in the spotlight.)

    Posted by: Nick | Feb 3, 2010 10:09:04 AM

  12. I really like Johnny Weir and totally dislike the PETA fascists.

    Posted by: John | Feb 3, 2010 10:15:17 AM

  13. @Milkman....I agree with you 100%. Your last post made me literally laugh out loud! Go Johnny!! Bring home the Gold!

    Posted by: javo | Feb 3, 2010 10:17:25 AM

  14. Animals have more rights than gays. Time to focus on the important things. Go Johnny

    Posted by: Huh | Feb 3, 2010 10:26:05 AM

  15. Beyond the argument of pro/anti fur, I find it troubling that Weir thinks seems to be making the case that, as long as there is human suffering in the world I can't be bothered with (what he himself called) animal cruelty. That is the definition of a non sequitur.

    This sounds a lot like the people who say that we can't address DADT or DOMA or ENDA or any other gay civil rights issue as long as ____________________________ (we're at war; there's a recession; people are dying in Darfur; people are suffering in Haiti; people are still homeless in New Orleans, etc, etc, etc.)

    One thing has NOTHING to do with the other and none of these things are mutually exclusive of the others.

    Regardless of my position for or against animal issues I find his statement to be ignorant, lazy and arrogant.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Feb 3, 2010 10:36:48 AM

  16. I don't support killing animals for fur clothing unless you live in some kind of native society where its actually necessary. Ironically, even in those kinds of societies, the animals they kill usually receive more respect than from the 'civilized' entrepreneurs that come to mine the forests for skin. The natives actually seem to understand the weight of what they must do.

    Barging into the forest and killing a bunch of animals to bring back and make a fancy coat with is totally unnecessary and pretty damn f*cked up IMO.

    The way I see it, there are many undesirable things in the world, some of them necessary. When it becomes unnecessary cruelty, I have a problem. This includes everything from clubbing baby seals to slaughtering whales to tearing the ivory from an elephants body to the conditions chickens are raised in for their meat and eggs.

    Eating meat is completely natural and not immoral in the least. Causing a lifetime of systematic torture and suffering in the process is immoral, and you don't have to be a vegetarian to realize that. Plus, healthier, happier animals taste better than sick, tortured ones, so everyone wins.

    All that said, PETA is useless, except in giving animal rights activists a bad rap. I donate to the humane society, they have the highest rating on charity navigator and most of their donations actually go to helping animals.

    Oh, and I care about humans too (some of them, anyways). Who says you can't do both?

    Posted by: Wes | Feb 3, 2010 10:39:48 AM

  17. And on the other side. No matter where I stand on animal issues, I whole-heartedly disagree with threats, bullying and acts of terrorism to support ANY issue.

    Those who are making threats against him should be ashamed of themselves. They aren't helping their cause.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Feb 3, 2010 10:40:41 AM

  18. I'm not going to lie, I really dug the straightforward sheer bitchiness of the post.

    Posted by: Pekemo | Feb 3, 2010 10:43:27 AM

  19. This made me love him a little bit.. I would hope that activists wouldn't be able to disrupt the performances, though.

    Posted by: Lis | Feb 3, 2010 10:49:48 AM

  20. I don't wear fur, I live in a climate which doesn't require it. If I did it would be the real thing. When you are done with real fur, when you have worn it out, you can discard it and it will return to the environment within 100 years. Faux fur is an oil based synthetic and when you discard it will contaminate the environment for 100 000 years. PETA is an anti-environmental organization.

    Posted by: Chris | Feb 3, 2010 10:54:17 AM

  21. Weir: Grow a pair. Celebrity action has consequence, reaction; you want to wear real fur go ahead--but don't be a dolt and pretend this choice is insular and doesn't carry controversial baggage. Own your election.

    Posted by: Laurence Ballard | Feb 3, 2010 11:12:06 AM

  22. I'm far from being a PETA person, but real fur just isn't cool anyway.

    Posted by: Jack M | Feb 3, 2010 11:26:11 AM

  23. I'm thinking Johnny Weir is getting bad PR advice. It's one thing to focus on people rather than animals. But is it necessary to spell that out for people?

    Posted by: Kevin | Feb 3, 2010 11:28:08 AM

  24. I'm still impressed at the homophobia in some of these reactions.

    Once the Olympics are over I hope Weir parades in a full body fur parka with a dead baby seal seal of approval.

    I hope you activists are vegan and growing your own food. Otherwise, you're fucking hypocrites.

    Posted by: Hank | Feb 3, 2010 11:31:48 AM

  25. I like Johnny Weir and I think he is being stupid about fur.

    Fur is gross.

    That doesn't mean I can't still like Johnny because he is outrageous for outrageousness' sake.

    Posted by: joe | Feb 3, 2010 11:36:12 AM

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