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Thomas Roberts Speaks Out Against Russia's Anti-Gay Laws on Miss Universe Red Carpet: VIDEO


While last night's Miss Universe telecast did not, unfortunately, provide an opportunity for host Thomas Roberts to make any kind of statement about Russia's anti-gay laws from the stage, he did take a moment to do so on the red carpet.

Said Roberts to Russian state-run network RT: 

“I know the law is very vague and still hard to interpret for many people. But it is discrimination and that’s definitive. And I don’t think that the LGBT population in Russia or anywhere should be marginalized to that degree. We are not asking for special protection. We’re just asking for equal respect."


Roberts made headlines in mid-October by deciding to host the event. LGBT advocates were troubled that Roberts would choose to lead the pageant in light of the country's anti-gay laws, and because of the conservative views of the pageant's owner Donald Trump, who opposes gay marriage, among other things.

Said Roberts at the time: "I choose to offer my support of the LGBT community in Russia by going to Moscow and hosting this event as a journalist, an anchor and a man who happens to be gay. Let people see I am no different than anyone else."

Earlier this week, Roberts filed an interview with a Russian journalist who was fired after coming out of the closet on the air in August.

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  1. I bet he didn't even pick out his tux. Looking at the colors there on the backdrop it was probably "Here. Wear this."

    Posted by: MIke | Nov 10, 2013 10:28:24 AM

  2. Where was the husband?

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Nov 10, 2013 10:39:41 AM

  3. I am waiting to see if he donates his entire "fee" for hosting in Russia to a Russian LGBT organization fighting for equality....but not holding my breath.

    Posted by: excy | Nov 10, 2013 10:46:24 AM

  4. What Dastius and Excy said. Tenfold.

    Posted by: Sean Maloney | Nov 10, 2013 10:53:10 AM

  5. It is one of Donald Trumps's plots. He likes to create controversies. That's why he chose him. Most important is that he agreed to it.

    Posted by: simon | Nov 10, 2013 10:58:19 AM

  6. What makes it even worse is that its a Donald Trump production....I've lost all respect for Roberts.

    Posted by: wonderer | Nov 10, 2013 11:03:05 AM

  7. Did Russian state TV broadcast his comments?

    Posted by: BobN | Nov 10, 2013 11:05:21 AM

  8. The original host, Andy Cohen, walked away from the broadcast in protest over Russia's anti-gay laws angering Donald Trump. Trump turned to the next "openly gay" broadcaster he could find and offered a boatload of money knowing a gay host would be controversial. Thomas Roberts accepted with egotistical glee despite Russia's anti-gay laws and promoted a claim that he would 'speak out' for all gays during the broadcast. He did not or if he did any mention or statement was blocked by Russian authorities and NBC themselves (who did not want to upset the lucrative Sochi broadcasting applecart). As for TV ratings NBC's Miss Universe was watched by a paltry 5.5 million viewers and was soundly trumped by the second hour of the X-Factor. If you watched you were 1 in 50 who did. What were YOU thinking?

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Nov 10, 2013 11:07:25 AM

  9. He did nothing, except that show he'll do anything to suck Trump's old flaccid penis. Just disgusting!

    Posted by: litper | Nov 10, 2013 11:07:55 AM

  10. What a shameful opportunistic attention seeking whore. It is sad that so many gay men (especially the owner of this site) give him a pass because of his looks.

    Posted by: Perry | Nov 10, 2013 11:09:04 AM

  11. At least he wore a purple tux.

    With any luck, the exposure will get around and Russians may become a little more enlightened.


    Posted by: Pete N SFO | Nov 10, 2013 11:26:48 AM

  12. So a high-profile Gay American, who has been taking his husband around with him while in Russia and speaking out for equal treatment of LGBT people, gets on Russian TV and denounces the anti-LGBT Russian law we all oppose, and you guys continue to snipe at him and do everything you can to find fault?

    What are each of you doing, personally, to change the homophobic environment in Russia? Hmmmmmmmm? Yes you, @LITPER @PERRY @WONDERER @DASTIUS @EXCY @SEAN MALONEY and @SIMON !

    You all should be ashamed of yourselves for your refusal to support Roberts.

    Posted by: E. Carpenter | Nov 10, 2013 12:24:07 PM

  13. What a bunch of nay-saying jades and cynics you posters all are - not a single positive comment. Why shouldn't he get paid, and well? Why should he donate the amount to anyone? He can do what he wants, just like anyone else. He spoke out when he had the chance as he said he would. That's enough leadership. He's a good guy. End of story.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Nov 10, 2013 12:26:36 PM

  14. E. Carpenter a.k.a. Thomas Roberts or Patrick Abner. LOL.

    Posted by: Sean Maloney | Nov 10, 2013 12:49:56 PM

  15. I've said it before: Roberts's presence as part of the pageant lends legitimacy to Putin's regime. Worse, his privileged status and treatment there give the impression that conditions for non-visiting, non-celebrity LGBT people aren't as awful as they are. And he's taking money from Donald Trump - who clearly wanted an out gay host to further his own agenda - to do it. I never thought I'd actually praise Andy Cohen for anything (Bravo and its "Bravolebrities" are a blight), but his refusal to whore himself out to Putin and Trump showed a level of conscience and self-respect that Roberts clearly lacks.

    Posted by: Profe Sancho Panza | Nov 10, 2013 12:57:21 PM

  16. lost all respect

    Posted by: Jaker | Nov 10, 2013 1:03:54 PM

  17. Gee, so something was stopping him from taking a rainbow pin out of his pocket and putting it on during the broadcast? Poor, poor Tom. Well, not TOO poor, not after sucking up to Trump.

    Posted by: jomicur | Nov 10, 2013 1:10:26 PM

  18. Let's see...Anyone can be jailed for promoting or disagreeing with the Russian regime's vague anti-gay law. So Roberts says to RT that the law is wrong and that gays should have rights--the same RT that fired their gay news anchor. That's pretty brave, despite the fact that Russia would really look bad if they arrested him; which brings up why his boy friend isn't there. They may not touch Thomas Roberts for PR purposes, but they could use the BF as leverage. I think Andy Cohen was afraid to go to Russia and he made excuses.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Nov 10, 2013 1:13:22 PM

  19. Russian audience never saw that part.

    Posted by: lukebrux | Nov 10, 2013 1:23:32 PM

  20. No, not "the same RT that fired their gay news anchor." Krasovsky was at NTV and then co-founded KontrTV. He is a Russian language journalist, though his English is quite good.

    RT is an English language channel that is made for foreign propaganda purposes and is not watched by Russians (unless they want to work on their English by watching pro-Kremlin news, which sounds very perverse.)

    The audience for Roberts's brave statement was... a few Westerners. And now us.

    Posted by: KevinVt | Nov 10, 2013 1:45:53 PM

  21. @LUKEBROX :

    The answer to your very pertinent question has not been answered by anyone; were his views aired on mainstream Russian TV not just the international vanilla station that we all get.

    Ok, I have my own suspicions, and I hope I'm proved wrong.
    But it doesn't look like an encouraging precedent for the Sochi Games.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Nov 10, 2013 1:56:58 PM

  22. Everything about Trump is disgusting, from his racist birther rants to his tacky buildings & TV shows.

    Why is NBC/MSNBC in bed with this jackass? He belongs on FOX (or better yet, in HELL!)

    Posted by: JonnyNYNY2FLFL | Nov 10, 2013 2:01:30 PM

  23. Why do people think Thomas Roberts is a role model who has somehow left the reservation? He's never been a role model. He's a second rate newscaster that is happy to be seen and marketing as the token gay guy within NBC's expanded news organization.

    For Christ sake, he even wore a gay tuxedo. No self-respecting man (gay/straight) would wear such a constume. He's Trump's butt boy.

    Posted by: JAMES B. | Nov 10, 2013 2:04:39 PM

  24. Everyone can make a mistake and this is one that Thomas Roberts made on several levels:

    1: Don't undercut your status as a newsman. He should never put himself into the role of an entertainer or "host.". It diminishes any journalistic credentials to which he aspires. Would Edward R. Murrow do this?

    2: Don't become an employee of Donald Trump. Trump's political witch hunt against Obama should make him persona non grata with any responsible news organization. Roberts and NBC should be ashamed of their association with him.

    3: Don't take a political stand and then fail to follow through. The statement shown here is a wan response to criticism of his attendance. It is barely even a denunciation of the Russian legal system. Use the media visibility to make a clear concise statement that criticizes the Russian policies.

    4: Don't take money when you are trying to make a political statement. It's hard to be a moral authority and a prostitute at the same time. Donate the fee you received for this event to a pro-LGBT rights group. Make very clear that the only reason you took this job was to be a visible LGBT figure in Russia.

    5: Don't cede the moral high ground to Andy Cohen. Self-explanatory.

    6: Don't wear garish tuxedos. It's hard to be taken seriously about ANYTHING when one is wearing a purple/fuschia dinner jacket. Russians probably looked at this and thought, "See, those gay guys are weird. They wear magenta tuxedos."

    Thomas, you made a mistake in taking this gig. Admit it and all will be time.

    Posted by: gr8guyca | Nov 10, 2013 2:18:36 PM

  25. He spoke out on the red carpet and in interviews. He interviewed an out Russian journalist who had been fired. He was there with his husband. He was completely out and open and tried to make a difference -- as he does every day on his MSNBC show. Everybody should lay off this guy. Direct your anger at more deserving recipients.

    Posted by: Richard | Nov 10, 2013 3:10:26 PM

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