MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts Asks People to ‘Have a Little Faith’ in Him

MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts gives an interview to The Advocate in which he asks people to have "a little more faith in me" regarding his decision to host the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow.

RobertsSays Roberts:

I consulted with the [Human Rights Campaign] and with GLAAD. I wanted to find out their take on what they thought about this decision by me. They are two organizations that I have done a great deal of work with and that have not only had my personal support but professional support. So a lot of counsel, a lot of advice, went into this. Certainly great LGBT activists, who are mentors of mine — I reached out to them as well. So, I am a little dismayed at some of the reaction that people have had, that have wanted to try to attack my personal and professional belief for what I'm standing up for, but I respect their right to do that. But I wish they would have a little more faith in me.

As for critics that say he's doing it for the money, he adds:

I mean, I show up to work every day, and we still work in a country where there are gay and lesbian people who can be fired every day at work. In 33 states you can be fired based on gender identity, 29 states they explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation; we have the Employment Non-Discrimination Act languishing in Washington, D.C., and has for decades.  So that's silly, that would be like telling all of these bloggers and reporters and everyone else, don't show up to work in the United States. And nobody boycotted last year, when Miss Universe was held in Las Vegas, and we hadn't had decisions on marriage equality by that point. And I think that we had just gotten out from "don't ask, don't tell," but nobody was asking for a boycott of that, so it's interesting to me. I find it very interesting that people would take this tone with me.

Read the full interview HERE.


  1. Daniel Berry, NYC says

    I totally support his decision. It will be a major example of VISIBILITY that has proven (as Harvey Milk always said) to be the most powerful weapon we have against our adversaries. Even more delicious is the idea of this pageant being hosted by an out gay man–rather flies in the face of “popular conceptions” of who and what we are. By doing this, Roberts is “getting in the face” of the fools in the Soviet Union–oh, excuse me, Russia–who are spending so much energy bad-mouthing and scapegoating – and worse – our brothers and sisters. This is a grand opportunity for a grand gesture. To refuse it would be sad, foolish, tragic.

  2. Lymis says

    Thomas, Thomas. I didn’t have any faith in you before. Faith about what, exactly?

    I have every faith you’ll look good in a tux, have shiny white teeth, and manage not to trip over any furniture.

    That’s all I expect from any game show host.

    You want us to believe that hosting Miss Universe is a political statement on human rights and freedom?

    That’s precious.

  3. Jack M says

    Even leaving out the Russia factor, why would you want to work for a man who is obviously anti-gay who puts on beauty contests that treat woman as sex objects? I know that money is the answer, but let’s face it, it’s all about a handsome man hosting a show with beautiful women. And the winner gets to be stalked by the Donald. Ugh.

  4. Clam says

    I’m glad he’s out and is voicing his opinion against Russian state antigay policy, and he’s sure to be a reminder to western bigots of the normality and presence of homosexuality….but the Russian state media WILL not mention his sexuality and they WILL censor any statements he might make about the current issues there. Make no mistake. That I can have faith in.

  5. says

    I just don’t understand how he’d be willing to go to a country that would throw him in jail for mentioning his marriage, and work for a man who has publicly denounced his marriage. What does Thomas’ husband think about this?

  6. Will says

    Biggest mistake of his career.

    The problem is not his hosting, but what he will or won’t say on Russian television. If he does say something he risks fines and jail time, so consider that unlikely. If he doesn’t speak out he’s just another host and Trump gets his show with minimal controversy.

    It’s pretty obvious, the Donald is using him plain and simple, but we’ll see won’t we.

  7. David From Canada says

    I just saw him on a MSNBC news clip. He seems like a nice guy, a great guy.
    Stop taking this whole Russian thing SO seriously. Thomas Roberts going over there is host a beauty pageant is not the end of the world. If you isolate Russia from the rest of the world, it will keep them the same as they are now. Let them see people like Thomas and other gays and it will help them slowly but surely.

  8. Perry says

    This guy is a total scumbag and he keeps digging his hole even deeper. I also didn’t realize that HCR and GLAAD can say what is and isn’t appropriate to do.

  9. Perry says

    And for people saying it would be major visibility, do you seriously think 90% of the worldwide viewers have any idea who he is? Yet alone that he is gay and married? That is a huge ego he has.

  10. jamal49 says

    @TODD Which to me is the objection one should have to Thomas Roberts taking this Miss Universe gig. To host a Miss Universe pageant does not lend credibility to Mr. Roberts claim to be a “serious journalist”. I am surprised that MSNBC would have given Roberts a pass to participate in such a ridiculous project. I cannot ever imagine the late Walter Cronkite doing any such thing ever.

  11. JonnyNYNY2FLFL says

    I have faith he’ll shine a light on Russia’s homophobia & that will be a good thing.

    I have fear his credibility will suffer due to his association with scumbag Donald Trump & that will be a bad thing (for his career as a newsman).

  12. Profe Sancho Panza says

    Oh, well, now that the HRC and GLAAD have said it’s okay, it must be. I’ll sleep much better at night now.

    No. It’s not okay. I hope he enjoys spending that big fat paycheck he’ll get from the loathsome Donald Trump for agreeing to be used in this charade.

  13. unruly says

    If Roberts doesn’t under the concept of false equivalency (see his second quoted statement), he’s a bigger fool than I thought and is too dumb to be even hosting a news show.

    I think MSNBC let Roberts do this because NBC has the television rights for the Miss Universe pageant and Trump went to them in need of a host. I can’t believe Andy Cohen is smarter than anyone but here we are…

  14. Jason says

    “… Let them see people like Thomas and other gays and it will help them slowly but surely….POSTED BY: DAVID FROM CANADA…”

    Why are you such an idiot, Dave “From Canada” (Yeah….riiiight!).

    You seem to have forgotten one HUUUUGE tid bit of information; The Propaganda Law.

    The people of Russia Will Not Be Allowed To Know that Roberts is gay.

    He, and any of his staff and crew risk being thrown into Jail just mentioning Roberts is gay on National Russian T.V.

    So, MORON…NO. You are wrong as always.

    And from Canada? No Effing Way pal! You’re just a lousy LCR plant, trying to convince people Canadaians are like American Republicans when EVERYONE on earth knows that is a lie.

    Plus, your regular use of not Canadian, but, American idioms prove it.

  15. UFFDA says

    Most of you sound like you just crawled out of Medusa’s head. Robert’s knows perfectly well that it’s not a seriously big deal. It’s just his own effort where he has a chance to make one. Only the sneering losers, cynics and jades would deny him that. And for what? To slake your bottom feeding thirst for savagery or “get even” with a man for being handsome, wholesome and successful…what a peanut gallery of creeps.

  16. UFFDA says

    Most of you sound like you just crawled out of Medusa’s head. Robert’s knows perfectly well that it’s not a seriously big deal. It’s just his own effort where he has a chance to make one. Only the sneering losers, cynics and jades would deny him that. And for what? To slake your bottom feeding thirst for savagery or “get even” with a man for being handsome, wholesome and successful…what a peanut gallery of creeps.

  17. jomicur says

    I “have a little faith” that a riding a bus will take me downtown. I do not have faith that Thomas Roberts will be driving it–or that he wouldn’t prefer me to ride in the back.

  18. Daniel Berry, NYC says

    @ Perry – you raise a point worth going into: do the majority of people who view the pageant have internet access? If so, well, as we all know, word has a way of getting around – even all over the world. And people who have access talk to people who don’t have access. Rumor is the fastest thing going – especially if she’s assisted by these tubes carrying the internets. I don ‘t know it for a fact, Perry, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people–perhaps the majority of people – watching the pageant will know Roberts is a gay guy, whatever else they do or dont’ know about him. I don’t think his or anyone’s thinking so has a whole lot to do with his ego. Of course, the Taliban won’t like it so much. But they’re not big on beauty pageants, so that should be all right.

  19. db says

    thomas Roberts is NOT a stupid man. He’s not a raging egotist or a whore. He’s also not a GOProud Trojan Horse. I am perfectly willing to see what he’s going to do before I let my brain explode.

    I know we’re not used to moderation or taking things on a case by case basis but I’m okay with him and I trust him to do this.

  20. Mastik8 says

    I have as much faith in Thomas Rabbi Bengelsdorf Roberts as the Norwegians had in Vidkun Quisling. Andy Cohen is beginning to look positively Delphic in his ability to read this situation. I wonder if Trump has agreed to pick up the good Rabbi’s, er, I mean, Mr. Roberts’ legal fees?

  21. Frankie says

    He has internet nudes and those pictures are hot so he’s done enough for the community by sharing those pictures. He has a pass for life, he can do no wrong.

  22. says

    I don’t know what kind of advice he got from the HRC and GLAAD but he’s living in a bubble of delusion if he expected the gay community to give him a pass for hosting a frivolous beauty pageant owned by the anti-gay Donald Trump in beyond anti-gay Russia. Hard to imagine how he’ll come off as anything but Donald’s and Putin’s good boy, but hopefully he will have an opportunity to say something that could somehow help LGBT people in Russia–we will see.

  23. Sam says

    Dude- Your past judgement has proven poor (i.e. naked selfies on a sex site). Why would I have faith in you now. Besides, did you really grow up wanting to host a beauty pageant? Guess the money is really good.

  24. MIke says

    I read MSNBC hired Mia Farrow’s kid for a daily show and I have a feeling I know why they couldn’t care less if Thomas is off to host a beauty pageant……..

  25. PAUL B. says

    Ditto UFFDA ! I’m all for his effort to create visibility and understanding. The rest of us…yuck! JASON…can spend time on this forum…such a busy schedule! Meanwhile Thomas Roberts is doing something visible and meaningful to help educate the ignorant abroad…although there’s plenty right at home he can do…JASON!

  26. Rafael says

    We should all hold back judgement and give Thomas a chance. So far he’s been a role model for the community and for me personally. His intentions are noble and I believe he is capable to articulate and communicate his message even to a hostile audience in Russia.

  27. Mick says

    I have to rethink my support of HCR and GLAAD if they’re now in the business of casting douchebags for Donald Trump and the Universe Pageant. LOL, “serious journalist”!!! This self important Ken Doll is one buzzer away from being Bert Parks.

  28. walter says

    sorry i think both trump and the russian were anxious to make sure a gay took that job to try and dipel cries of homophobia against both. when andy cohen turned them down they were quick to look for another gay man right away. they hope to quell talks of boycotts of the eevnt and sponsors

  29. Mick says

    @Walter, Mr. Roberts campaigned and sought after the job himself. His only interest is his own financial gain. Even if he gets an interview with Putin which I doubt, there’s nothing he can do or say to change his mind. You have to boycott this crap and cut all profits out of the picture for anyone, especially Donald Trump. You’re right, I’m sure Trump wanted a gay in Russia with him but certainly not to help the LGBT community in Russia but to further the ratings of his stupid, sexist TV program.

  30. Dan says

    His comparison between the state of Nevada and Russia is absurd! Apples and oranges….no, more like apples and cars! No state in America is throwing people in gay for simply mentioning they are gay or taking away their children or encouraging neighbors to “out” GLBT people so they can be arrested. Thomas “Uncle Tom” Roberts!

  31. emjayay says

    I’m sure that doing this will put him right at the top of the list for hosting Meet the Press. Great career move, Roberts.

    Oh, a Google search for “Thomas Roberts nude” got ’em at the top of the list. From 2007. Also an excellent career move.

  32. MIke says

    If he was in line for MTP or anything of significance on MSNBC, they wouldn’t be letting him go with the Donald to do a beauty contest show. Get serious. He’s disposable. But of course on MSNBC they need the ratings and would be cool with Chris Hayes setting his hair on fire.

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