Stephen Fry And David Cameron Meet To Discuss The Problem With Russia

The Grapes
Not unlike Harvey Fierstein, actor Stephen Fry has been very vocal about the gay rights abuses happening in Russia as the Sochi Olympics draw nearer. Fry challenged Prime Minister David Cameron's assertion that Britain's presence in the games is vital to the case for gay rights in Russia. Fry wrote,

At all costs Putin cannot be seen to have the approval of the civilised world. The Summer Olympics of 2012 were one of the most glorious moments of my life and the life of my country. 

For  there to be a Russian Winter Olympics would stain the movement for ever and wipe away any of that glory.

The Prime Minister replied via Twitter with,

Thank you for your note @stephenfry. I share your deep concern about the abuse of gay people in Russia.

‘However, I believe we can better challenge prejudice as we attend, rather than boycotting the Winter Olympics. DC.

At this point newspaper publisher Evgeny Lebedev invited the two men to The Grapes, a pub he co-owns with Sir Ian McKellen in Limehouse, to discuss their differences over drinks in a private room. When the meeting ended, sources say that Fry was pleased at Cameron's explanations on how Britain would use its attendance to make the case for gay rights, though no specifics were revealed.


  1. Mike Ryan says

    I think Fry has one of the finest minds of this century. He is intelligent, erudite and ranks right up there on common sense as Benjamin Franklin ever did. Did he prevail here? I’m not so sure. Fools can be a stubborn lot – especially fools who believe they can somehow change the tyrant simply by giving him the attention he is demanding. I say not. I say walk away from the Olympics today and any other event taking place in a land where a minority of the citizenship is targeted for death. We put our lives on the line every day in civilized worlds and still we are tortured, maimed, murdered and considered ‘less than’. Why on earth would we want to bow our heads like fools in hopes the saber won’t chop them off? It is wiser and much better if we simply walk away, keep our money in our pockets and say no, I won’t let you lick my ass.

  2. KEVIN says

    OK i get that people don’t want to boycott but how exactly do you fight predjudice by attending and not doing anything? I seriously doubt Cameron would authorize the British team to defy the Olympics.

  3. andrew says

    Russian LGBT Organizations and Activists are saying: Don’t boycott the Olympics. Google it and find out what the Russian LGBT Network has said. Armchair militants in the West, sitting in their homes hundreds or thousands of miles away from any negative consequences of the words or actions, don’t always know best.

  4. Caliban says

    Let’s not forget that David Cameron stood behind gay marriage in the UK until he got it passed. He went to the wall for it and I respect his point of view.

    Honestly I have been all over the map on the issue of boycott vs _______. (Insert whatever alternative you favor in the blank.)

    IF countries like the UK and the US are willing to support their athletes who make pro-gay statements/actions in Russia during the Olympics, in other words stand up to both the IOC AND Russia if they attempt to silence, arrest, or deport athletes who speak out for gay rights, then maybe participation really is the better way to go.

    But without the support of their governments, allowing the IOC and/or Russia to bully athletes into silence, it’s just letting Russia have their party and pretending everything’s OK.

    It’ll be interesting to hear what Stephen Fry has to say about it.

  5. Ali says

    The effectiveness of boycotts depends on the ability to negatively affect those people/organizations that hold the power to make a change. Most people calling for a boycott fail to understand that fact. Although, it’s rarely black and white.

    On one end of the spectrum is a boycott of a geographic region. This type of boycott tends to hurt the group you want to help. For example, boycotting an entire state because anti-gay laws were passed makes no sense when most of those laws pass with a tiny margin.

    The most effective boycotts are of for-profit companies. Chick-fil-a gives money to anti-equality groups…boycott the company.

    When it comes to the Olympics, there seem to be two boycotts. The first is boycotting sponsors. While I understand going after Russian companies, I’m baffled at the notion that boycotting US-based companies will do anything except hurt people here. Do people expect the CEO of McDonalds is able to call up Putin and get him to change Russian laws?

    The other idea is to boycott the Olympics. That seems ridiculously short-sighted. With contracts signed, Russian hotels and other businesses already have the money. If we don’t show, Russia can slash their security budget and keep even more. It’s not Putin and the government that suffers; it’s the local workers who will get fired/laid-off or have their hours slashed.

    Finally, Putin probably loves the idea of a US boycott because it increases the chances for more medals. Plus, it virtually ensures that the Games will be a success. The answer isn’t a boycott. Let our athletes go and find subversive, non-violent ways to protest. The human spirit will win out.

  6. Koskalaka Maricón says

    Sources? What sources speak for Stephen Fry on such an important human rights issue when Mr. Fry is so very capable of speaking for himself and has already done so on this specific issue regarding Russia and the Sochi games? I am dubious and on the verge of calling BS.

  7. Marco Borg says

    Stephen Fry and his gay friends shouldn’t think of themselves as the Chosen People. They are basically unimportant. They do not count.

    But they can do damage to British sportsmen who have invested a lot of time, effort and money to take part. They shouldn’t even remotely suffer for the queer sexual habits of a small minority.

    I think Russia is right in not allowing gay adults to entice or propagandize gay sexual habits to minors.

    I congratulate the Russians on their great success in the World Athletic Chamionships just finished in Moscow coming right on top in the medal table.

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