Madonna Says She Will Go to St. Petersburg, Russia and Condemn Anti-Gay ‘Atrocity’

Last week, following the passage by St. Petersburg, Russia of a law banning gay "propaganda" which bars (and imposes fines for) gay groups, gay books and periodicals, LGBT Pride events, and other "promotion" of homosexuality, there were calls from Russian journalists for boycotts of the city.

Tears_madonnaThe calls were directed at Mercedes-Benz or PepsiCo, the two foreign companies that have signed on as partners of this year’s economic forum, and Madonna, who is going there on a tour this year.

Madonna has responded, saying she plans to go and speak out against the law, Bloomberg reports:

Madonna’s first tour in Russia drew the ire of orthodox Christian activists. Now she vows to defy a new law against promoting homosexuality when she performs in President-elect Vladimir Putin’s hometown in August.

“I will come to St. Petersburg to speak up for the gay community and to give strength and inspiration to anyone who is or feels oppressed,” the pop star said by e-mail late yesterday. “I’m a freedom fighter.”

“I don’t run away from adversity,” Madonna, who has used her fame to support gay rights, said in the e-mail. “I will speak during my show about this ridiculous atrocity.”

Image from the new "Girl Gone Wild" video.

Comments

  1. bewilderbeast says

    Interesting how she so vocally boycotted Colorado when Amendment two was passed. Perhaps, she realizes now she can make money and be vocal about being a “freedom fighter.” Sorry Madge, get over yourself.

  2. Akerus says

    Yes, she is obviously a radical “freedom fighter” and revolutionary iconoclast who is more concerned about making money than anything else. What will she do, go to Russia and eloquently say “there’s discrimination and this is not cool” (Madonna, the average semi-literate ten-year-old felt proud of you that day!), as she did in Romania when she “advocated” in favour of Roma rights?

    This talentless hag has built a career on nothing but scandals and ridiculous pretensions. Now, when she is on the verge of irrelevance, she has decided to comfortably position herself in the “human rights activist” corner with the equally detestable Bono and Angelina Jolie.

    Let’s just wait for the legions of deranged maenads, I mean, her psychotic fans, to ask for her beatification in exchange of doing nothing for anyone but herself.

    If people of this ilk are our advocates, I’d rather have us walking alone.

  3. says

    WERK!!!

    And you losers complaining are the ones who need to get over yourselves. Hating Madonna, and coming on to a gay website to anonymously tell other anonymous-commenters that you can’t stand Madonna, will not make your own life better, nor will it help attain LGBT Equality.

    You sound like little wimpy boys who are still adamantly running around telling everyone how “not like those other gays!” you are and wondering why nobody wants to date you.

    Madonna’s music was a real source of inspiration and joy to me as a kid, a teen and a young adult. I can only imagine what her presence in Russia will do for her young(er) fans – or lifelong fans who still feel a connection to her.

    Don’t like her? Great. Good for you. Don’t attend her concert.
    But I like what she’s doing here – she can go and be the outspoken source of celebratory defiance that she’s been to many people, in many different ways. inspire the LGBT people of Russia, and their allies.

    anyone who rags on her for this is just showing what little balls they have.

  4. uffda says

    AKERUS

    Do tell us all your personal measure of contribution to the legitimate rights of oppressed people around the world. We already know that it is more significant than the words and work of Bono, Jolie and Madonna. Just step up to the bar if you will and tell us about it. Just be certain that you never made a dime on the way or during the course of your contribution.

  5. Akerus says

    I would like to apologize to everyone for daring to critizice celebrities who shamelessly utilize the pain of others to publicize themselves and achieve a relevance they should not, nor deserve to have.

    The fact that I am not being photographed with orphans or that my charities in Third World countries haven’t been proved to be frauds, means that I am an evil monster who doesn’t care about anyone, has never done anything for others and, on top of it all, I probably eat children. Such clarity and objectivity have dazzled me into accepting my many shortcomings!

    In addition, I have to agree: Every gay man who doesn’t idolize Madonna or Kylie Minogue is beset by internalized homophobia, is probably a repressed and self-hating closet case and a mindless Republican who panders to evil religious fanatics. Because thinking that they have crap voices and even crappier music is irrefutable proof of non-acceptance of one’s own sexuality.

    In addition, I understand that not liking Madonna makes me wicked and undeserving of human companionship, so I will walk alone for the rest of my life, deprived of Madonna-fied solidarity! Oh, the TRAGEDY!

    Honestly, I want to thank you all! I’ve heartily laughed with the depth and rationality of all your arguments… I hope Madonna loves you for that altar you’ve built to her in your bedrooms.

  6. says

    Akerus, I’ve loved Madonna since I was a child. Her Ray of Light album was released when I was 16 years old. It inspired me to Come Out.

    I’m not sure why you’re so proud of your dislike of Madonna. It’s not like hating her has helped you at all.

    I love her, and I’ve been Out since my teens. You hate her, and you’re still semi-Closeted and posting anonymous comments online venting your fury.

    So, how’s that working for ya so far?

    😀

  7. says

    you could always prove us all wrong, Akerus, and post the link to your own page or youtube video where you show us all what a strong, outspoken and ethical LGBT Advocate you are in spite of your dislike of Madonna.

    how about it? you can make a quirky video where you show how much pro-Equality work you’re doing, on top of your anti-Madonna “work” which seems to consist of typing complaints about her anonymously online, no doubt whilst furiously masturbating with the other hand.

    So, up for it? It would be lovely to see another strong, manly, self-secure and empowered gay man who’s totally Out and doing a lot of pro-Equality work for our worldwide communities.

    so, how about it?

  8. bewilderbeast says

    I just did a search of Madonna tickets in my city, two tickets will set you back 700+face value and they not are even next to the stage, add parking, drinks and maybe a dinner 900+, for one night. I am not anti-Madonna or a self-hating gay, I personally think that sometimes you can fall out of love with someone. NPR did a story about it last year, falling out of love with your music. I have seen bands as diverse as U2 (40+times) Tool (17x) and Social Distortion (22x) and now I could care less about seeing them perform down the street. Sometimes bands/artists run their course. There are so many new artists that are amazing that you don’t have to spend and arm and a leg on seeing. Last month I saw an amazing band Alabama Shakes for 5 dollars, not heard of them yet? You will. In the past three months the average ticket price of each show I went to was 15 bucks. The artists, not extremely well known, but just getting started. Katy B., Zola Jesus, Lost In The Trees and Alabama Shakes. I think everyone should respect each others tastes and realize that yeah, I think Gaga sucks, but far from me being anti-gay or a homophobe. I think Beth Ditto is amazing, not to mention Bon Iver did a gay related song years ago, dare I say I melt with Antony Hagerty and Hercules and Love Affair rock! I wonder what ticket prices will be in Russia, if you read the current trend in the US housing market all the mega mansions and sky high priced condos are all being sold to 20 something Russians. Just saying, I don’t think the average gay Madonna fan in Russia will get to enjoy her show.

  9. miheal d says

    look, i don’t particularly like madonna either, so what

    and while i don’t feel as strongly about it as akerus does i do think it’s pretty ridiculous to think that the only reason she’s going over there is to speak out for the oppressed

    i’m sure she’ll make some speeches and wag her bony little finger at “the man” and it might even do some good so, good for you, girl

    i’m also pretty sure she’s gonna cash that big fat check with a quickness
    and there’s nothing wrong with getting paid so, good for you, girl

    now, if you wanna say i’m a horrible person for thinking that, knock yourself out

  10. Rin says

    They will arrest her. This isn’t Western Europe, so…for those that are saying she’s taking the easy, money-making approach, yes, she’ll be making money.

    But she’ll go to jail. Putin don’t play.

  11. jamesintoronto says

    Nothing like a Madonna posting to bring out the haters.

    I love Madonna, always have, always will.

    But what some posters seem to forget is that the music business is just that, a business. Everyone in it is there to make money. And Madonna is one of the smartest people in that business, someone who has managed to stay relevant for nearly 30 years. Some of you will question her relevance but tell me this… what other pop star from the early 80s has as many hits as her, currently has the number one dance single, just had her latest album leaked and is the number one download, was the half time entertainment at the Super Bowl, and can sell out concert tours at outrageous prices? Let’s see… George Michael? Nope, he just gets arrested for drugs and lewd behaviour. Cyndi Lauper? Nope, nice lady but hasn’t had a hit in years.

    In fact no one in pop music has lasted as long as Madonna and that may make you hate her but I don’t think she really cares.

  12. Opinionated says

    I don’t feel as strongly about this as others but I must say I personally don’t buy Madonna’s activism. It seems contrived and self centered. I think we have done more for her than she has done for us.

    Why don’t we all agree that Russia will be a test of her commitment to either being a “Freedom Fighter” or a money seeking opportunist. Will she make it a one liner or really get into it, thus breaking the law there. Technically speaking she could now be arrested for this and I am not saying she should go that far (though it will really be a slam dunk if she did). I just can’t shake that I feel like she is doing this for HER not US but we shall see.

  13. Paul says

    Give me a break. She’ll make mention of sexuality once she’s raked in a million bucks and supported the local economy. A better display of solidarity would be to cancel the show. Or should I say $how?

  14. says

    1. It remains to be seen what she will do, but she is basically going to break the law in St. Petersburg and I’m sure for many of the gays that will be in the audience, this will be a big galvanizing thing for many of them. Hell, if they all start making out at the concert, that will be revolutionary.

    2. All big arena shows are expensive. That’s the way the cookie crumbles. In this day and age, you can see this stuff on YouTube and in the case of Madonna, it will be released on DVD and you can see it then.

  15. Joe Crider says

    Talk is cheap.

    If Madonna Louise Ciccone breaks the local law as I suspect she will, I hope she’s arrested and thrown in jail. Then, perhaps, we may get to see what kind of advocate she really is.

  16. says

    as opposed to the “fierce advocates” who logged on to this thread to make complain-y comments about Madonna from a place of complete anonymity.

    “talk is cheap”?

    i agree – let’s see who you boys actually are and the specific pro-Equality work you’re all apparently doing in your own lives.

    truly.

  17. Tonic says

    Do you really think she’s performing in Russia because of the big fat check she’ll get? Seriously, she has a $120 million dollar deal with Live Nation alone. Not to mention the clothing line, oodles of other endorsements and whatever investments she’s made. One concert in Russia is pocket change to her.

    She can deal with the issue however she wants.

  18. Mark says

    LittleKiwi–stop bullying people who disagree with you. Everyone has a right to have an opinion and the fact that theirs doesn’t happen to be in line up with yours doesn’t give you the right to start personally attacking them in a public forum or demanding that they do this or that validate to their point of view. You’re embarassing yourself. Stop being such a c-nt and sit the f-k down. This is an online blog not your own talk show. Get your own blog if you want to hold court. Jesus…

  19. RobG says

    If Madonna really goes to Russia and makes pro-gay remarks to the audience in her concerts, that will be a real case of civil disobedience and a challenge to the authorities. She might or might not get in trouble for this, depending on whether the government thinks it has less to lose by arresting her, or expelling her, or ignoring her. But it would be a courageous thing for her to do. So let’s wait and see what she does before we criticize her.

  20. says

    “Mark” if the anonymous cowards want to come on here and complain about a woman I’ll be on here pointing out how pathetically transparent their complaints are.

    people are free to share their stupid opinions, i’m not stopping them.

    I’m not embarrassed. You don’t see me treating the internet like my own personal burqa of anonymity.

    what’s their “opinion”? That Madonna isn’t a “fierce-enough” advocate for LGBT people? *yawn*

    what the heck are you complainers doing? ragging on madonna on a gay webiste, anonymously. wow. what men you are.

  21. says

    I agree with Little Kiwi, if you’re going to criticize someone for not being enough of an advocate for gay rights, then you should show what entitles to make such a judgement. If you cannot, then expect criticism and stop being a drama queen about it.

  22. says

    many gay men feel “threatened” by Madonna the same way they feel threatened by President Obama – the awful fear that the person they’ve adamantly chosen to dislike is doing more for them than they’d like to admit.

    what Madonna “represents” to these ‘men’ is something they’ve tragically spent their adult lives trying to distance themselves from, for no logical reason.

    as gay republicans are furious that a black liberal man whose middle name is Hussein is doing more for them than their fellow White Conservatives, there are going to be insecure gay men who are terribly angry that the women, and culture, they’ve worked so hard to distance themselves from is actually paving the road to Equality in culture more than anything they’ve ever done.

    oh well. not my mess 😀

  23. Mark says

    LittleKiwi – this is a public forum you don’t pay for or own yet most of your time on TR is spent self-righteously shouting down those you disagree with. You have no right to demand they publicly identify themselves. If I say I don’t like a movie or an album do I need to justify my opinion to you? No. Do I have a right to say so without you raging on me? Yes.

    The irony is that if anyone contradicts you like you do them you fly into a rage and we get more of your vitriol. No one here owes you anything.

    Your bitchy tirades, tantrums and personal attacks undermine the highly intelligent man you obviously are. You can make a point and disagree without bullying people into silence. Stop personalizing every disagreement and respect other people’s right to express themselves. Even Madonna agrees with that (hence the song).

  24. says

    if nobody here owes me anything then why are you guys complaining as if MADONNA owes you something?

    i’m not bullying anyone into silence. it’s not my fault they can’t back their stuff up.

    i’m not stopping anyone’s right to express themselves – they’re wholly free to anonymously “express themselves” and expose themselves as the plebeian folks with middling intelligence that they are.

    if you have a right to say it, i have a right to rebuttal. you seem to be angry that my rebuttals dont’ from a place of anonymity like yours, and others, do.

    again, that’s not my problem.

  25. Molc says

    It will make a welcome change from the last time this talentless (can’t sing, dance or act) bimbo was there. When the LGBT community was attacked for marching in Moscow-Elton John condemned it, castigated it. Madonna thanked the Lord Mayor for allowing her to perform. Some advocate. LOL.

  26. says

    and when asked to perform at Rush Limbaugh’s third wedding, Elton said “yes, of course”

    just sayin’.

    you gotta hand it to Madonna, though – despite the fact that she’s apparently talentless, she’s one of the most famous women the world has ever seen, and one of the wealthiest.

    well, she must have done something right, eh? :-)

    i’ll say it again – rather than saying madonna isn’t a good enough advocate, what are you all SPECIFICALLY doing to be Visible and Vocal Advocates in your own daily lives?

    hint – bitching about Madonna on a gay website doesn’t count.

  27. Thomas says

    I don’t really care for her, but I certainly appreciate her using her platform to speak out against Russia’s homophobic laws.

    But…a freedom fighter? If Madonna is a freedom fighter for just speaking up, then what the hell is GaGa? A civil rights leader? Madonna isn’t the one bringing discharged soldiers to the VMA’s, or marching on Washington, or holding her own political rallies.

  28. Mark says

    Thank you for proving my point, Kiwi. Maybe someday your maturity will catch up with your intelligence. Running through life like an irate diva just makes you look pathetic. Slogging into personal attacks to reinforce logical arguments just makes you look desperate. Anyone who would demand personal data and a philanthropic resume from anyone who disagrees with them on a public discussion forum needs a reality check. The people casually commenting here are behaving appropriately. You, on the other hand, are not. And until you start posting with your real first and last name with your contact info linked instead of “LittleKiwi” your argument that anyone who doesn’t is a coward or less of a man makes you look like a huge hypocrite. Although I agree with you often, you are no more or less than anyone else on this forum. Stop holding court. Like I said before, you are embarrassing yourself by going to such ridiculous extremes.

  29. says

    right. because you posting comments to get my attention with various aliases aint cowardly 😉

    what, by the way, is your opinion on this Madonna story? that she’s NOT going to speak out when she performs there?
    uh, ok.

    now, if she does INDEED speak out whilst performing are y’all prepared to a serving of humble pie? 😀

    i’m not holding court, it only seems that way because i’m one of the only people with the balls to show his face.

    you’re more than free to do the same.

  30. Ariel says

    YOu are so used to this kind of things here in the USA, but you don’t know what that means for people around the globe, it may no make a big change, but it gives hope!! who cares if she does it for the money, the action she takes gives hope to others to speak against it, to stand up and fight!!!

  31. says

    well, i suppose we’ll all just have to wait and see.

    it would make for a sensational international scandal if she did indeed speak out. even better if she gets arrested.

    and since the naysayers are calling her a “media/publicity whore” why not then accept a reality – even a media whore can use their standing to draw attention to a Bigger Issue.

  32. Paul R says

    Come on. The Russian Federation would never put her in prison. And yes, I like her, but she’s a major star. She will not be arrested no matter what she says.

  33. vwdavy says

    she’ll go there, “not” lipsynch much, wear next to nothing and dance.

    she promises to shake her bony finger at all of the bad people writing those law things, and being mean to her favorite financial supporters worldwide, us gays. yes, even rubles fill her coffers.

    she also promises to cross her brow with the assistance of many asistants. liz excluded, of course.

    i used to like this woman a ton, but i’m just too busy to worry about these “artists” and their causes anymore. she’s as bad, and as big, a hypocrite as Sean Penn, Ashton Kutcher and Justin Timberlake being spokes people for better treatment of women worldwide via the don’t buy sex campaign.

  34. says

    I say more power to her.

    Unfortunately some Russian activists think this is not enough. And that Madonna should reach out to find them, because they’re too busy with other things, so if she doesn’t find them and donate all the proceeds to whatever they demand, they’re going to picket her concert. Sigh.

  35. BreckRoy says

    One of two things will happen:

    1- They will stop the concert and arrest her, bringing global attention to the cause and issue the likes no amount of gay press/gay blog posts can do. If they so much as touch a hair on her head, all the more. But there is no downside for the cause, love her or hate her, her megaphone is LOUD. And “Madonna arrested” or “Madonna show canceled” or “Madonna show halted” will bring this message to more people than any of us could ever imagine, including in Russia.

    2 – They will let it go and she will get to openly defy the law, showing how cowardly and pathetic the authorities are, and the double standard will not go unnoticed by the press or the Russian people. It will also embolden others to speak out more in Russia on the issue since it will appear you can do so (especially if you are famous) without repercussion.

    Either way it’s a win. Whether she gets credit or has a cynical motive doesn’t matter. Her canceling her concert would be a single line in most mainstream media. Her getting arrested or having a concert shut down when she started to speak would be a story heard round the world.

    And seriously, this woman is practically a billionaire (if she isn’t actually one). While she would lose a pretty penny (by our standards) by canceling one concert, to say the only reason she is NOT canceling is because she wants the money (from a single concert, when she could easily replace that date with any other major city in the world and make an equal amount or more for herself and the concert company) is ridiculous.

  36. Pathetic says

    How nice of the old has-been to speak up for gays again after having stayed silent about gay rights the whole time she was married to homophobe Guy Ritchie after they were the ones who put hundreds of millions into her bank account. So typical of a has-been whose songs are flopping to run to “the gays” when their career is in the toilet.

  37. LuckyLinden says

    Guy Ritchie is hardly a homophobe. At worse he’s like the unenlightened jock who didn’t realize his insensitivity until later in life. Jeez, he’s credited with one of the greatest (and few) gay characters in the uber-violent gangster film genre (Tom Hardy’s gay mobster in Rock’nRolla, who had a very progressive relationship with his originally homophobic best friend, played by Gerard Butler–people always point to the homophobic things that character says, which is the point, and makes his evolution and acceptance of his friend all the better). And if you have characters in film who would be homophobic jerks in real life why wouldn’t they act like homophobic jerks onscreen? [Would you make a movie about the Jim Crow south and have all the white characters never joke or insult black people so that no one would accuse you, the filmmaker of being racist? If it’s appropriate to the character and not played for cheap laughs it’s not a bad thing.] Second, from the more frat-boy start of Ritchie’s career, he’s moved on to the highly homoerotically-tinged SHERLOCK HOLMES movies that, at the very least, validates that men can have intimate relationships that are rewarding and it’s not wrong. I hate how people aren’t allowed to grow and get more sensitive to what their words mean as they get older? How many pro-gay straight men in their 40s were less sensitive in their teens and 20s? TONS. And, as someone who worked in England for many years, making fun of people is pretty much in their DNA and not viewed as as offensive as it is here (and I have no evidence that Ritchie made fun of gays personally anyawy.) And then to prjoect that all onto Madonna is ridiculous. If you hate her, hate her. But the grasping for reasons after reasons to justify it is ridiculous. I could care less about her motivation here. Even if she *is* using us, then why shouldn’t we *use* her fame and platform in return. Personal dislike is not a reason to reject help for a cause that needs as much help as it can get.

  38. Matte says

    Glad so many people are seeing this as the crass commercial nonsense that it is. Madonna honey, make your money and shut up already. Nobody, including Russian politicians, cares what you think.

  39. leprechaunvict says

    Mark: suck it up buttercup, if you can’t stand the heat of a debate in the mere comments section of a blog, get out the ‘net kitchen!

    Also, haters gonna hate, whaddya gonna do? Madonna will either get press for defying local law and getting away with it- or get press for defying local law and getting arrested. Either way, it’s good.

  40. itsokay says

    @Pathetic

    She spoke up against the Malawi government for sentencing a gay couple to 16 years of hard labor in 2010. They were subsequently released. She was also on Ellen to speak up against gay bullying last year when she had nothing to promote.

    Don’t forget she was one of the first mainstream artist gay advocates, before it was cool and okay to be gay – pre Will and Grace, pre Glee.

  41. D. MINER says

    Madge has always been a fighter and she’s not about to let Gaga steal the gays away from her without a fight… Waiting in anticipation for Gaga’s response!

  42. Tom Cardellino says

    There are so many comments along this thread with which I wholeheartedly agree, and they are all in support of Madonna’s promise to “break the law” in the newly renamed city due to the Russian Orthodox Catholic Church’s undue influence upon the post Soviet Russian Government, in a nutshell, Vladimir Putin. Once merely named Petersburg (Petrograd) those nasty Commie bastards renamed this large Russian city Leningrad, in honor of one of their cursed Commie Thugs who happened to liberate Russia’s masses from years of the Russian Orthodox Catholic Church’s endorsed pillage and rape of the general population to benefit the Czarist monarchical class so they could feign that their “semi-Asian” country was as Europeanly glorious as France when Versailles was the last refuge of the Louis XVI scoundrels who so abused their royal powers that their nation was thrown into a 1789 revolution so bloody and lasting so many years that it took the start of the dictatorship of Napolean I in 1804 (15 long years later) to pull the French nation out of internecine genocide. Yeah, I’d say that any objection that any worldwide public figure could voice against the modern day re-institution of monarchical fiat is A-okay in my book. Why, in a Russian Wild-West-Style Nouveau Capitalist State without a rule of law, that is subject to the political “personalities” of mere individual humans like Vladimir Putin and the Head Prelate of the Russian Orthodox Church, whose underlings urge all of Russia to immediately pass such “healthy Russian” anti-gay legislation nationwide, would you consider ANYONE who dare oppose these ruthless self-enriching non-ideologues (as in: will do ANYTHING to expand the so far unbridled scope of their plutocratic power and money) would anyone who lives in a more democratic country who’s one of the LGBT members of the world community denigrate Madonna for making some money for risking so much? Try your very best to get the big picture here. Millions of persons freedoms are at stake. Thankfully, Madonna is using her considerable resources to shed at least more light on this “atrocity” than is our very own US State Department!

  43. uknowhow says

    obviously madonna wont say anything but some “hey, be nice to gays, they’re cool”… and then keep singing… if she really cared she’d decided not to go… even if that meant to lose that money

  44. Ivan M says

    to: LITTLEKIWI

    Well said! :)
    Since the early 90’s she’s been an inspiration to me for freedom, LGBT and gender rights. I can see other people feeling the same way.
    Madonna is OK!

  45. jade says

    A 53 yr old AARP member, with a plastic face is the most frightening thing I ever did see. She has an album that is associated with mdma, the drug that kills. At 53 she looks so stupid. That cult she belongs to is scamming every one and their brother. It’s under investigation but she manages to support gays. Wow this old fart can’t come up with anything new. This is so phoney and it’s catching up to her. She had no talent anyways. When you have to go on stage and totally offend god. Then you have some serious issues. The filthy piece of rubbish known as Madonna is finally getting her own medicine. Offend her she has been offensive from day one. Madonna can dish it out but she sure can’t take it. Now you will see her go down very fast.Like a rock. Nasty piece of garbage.

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