Comments

  1. Mike Ryan says

    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?

  2. E. Carpenter says

    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.

  3. UFFDA says

    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.

  4. Profe Sancho Panza says

    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.

  5. jomicur says

    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.

  6. woodroad34 says

    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.

  7. says

    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.

  8. JackFknTwist says

    @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.

  9. JonnyNYNY2FLFL says

    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!)

  10. JAMES B. says

    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.

  11. gr8guyca says

    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 forgiven…in time.

  12. Richard says

    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.

  13. Victor says

    People talking about donations to Russian organizations – that is not a good thing. In fact, this was why one of the organizations was recently given a very large fine (though they were able to fight it). Taking foreign donations means that you need to register as a “foreign agent” (that is the actual classification given, this is not a joke). And Russian organizations (LGBT or not) don’t want to get such a designation.

  14. denizo says

    As mentioned, folks going off on this guy need to find another object for their hatred. He spoke out on the laws, he was welcomed by activists, the fact that he was there with his husband and criticized the laws was widely reported in the Russian media. Seriously, has anyone here done anything even close to that in scope?

    This is coming from someone who doesn’t particularly like the guy and hates the cheesy pageants… but it’s a great example of getting facts straight and learning to devote negative energy to the people who truly deserve it.

  15. jimbryant says

    Roberts did nothing on the actual show to indicate any form of statement against Russia’s ugly laws. The red-carpet part of it would not have been shown on Russian TV. He’s a coward.

    Andy Towle’s article is completely devoid of criticism of Roberts. Towle is starting to lose credibility.

  16. denizo says

    Actually, his comments against the law and the fact that he was with his husband were widely reported in Russian media. It’s not AT’s job to editorialize, he’s just presenting the facts.

  17. AriesMatt says

    Totally agree with @Richard. The negative comments here are shameful. At least Roberts is taking a stand and doing something whether or not his comments are aired on Russian TV. Exactly what are most of the negative people in the comments on this site doing for Russian gays? (crickets)

  18. Anthony says

    I find Towleroad’s wording interesting: “did not, unfortunately, provide an opportunity”

    I’d say as other commentors have, that he had the oppurtunity to pull a rainbow pin out of his pocket, or work a mention of his husband into the patter with Mel B (just two examples.)

    Not a biggie for me. I just had to adjust my view of seeing him as a community leader (it’s clear he isn’t now) and as someone with integrity (he doesn’t have it in my eyes).

    My take is that Roberts wants to transition out of his news role and wants to be a famous entertainer or host. Fine by me, but now I have his number and will stop looking at him as someone like Rachel Maddow and will start looking at him as someone like Mario Lopez…

  19. MrRoboto says

    Denizo, can you identify one Russian-language article that reported on Robert’s denunciation of the law that ran IN RUSSIA. You keep saying it was widely reported and I’ve seen no evidence of that whatsoever. If definitely was covered in the Western media, but I don’t know of any Russian news outlets for Russian audiences that covered/reported on it.

  20. Quicksilver says

    @ANTHONY I agree. His Whosay profile has said “Thomas Roberts, Actor” for awhile now. When he is on Morning Joe with actual pundits, he sounds like the kid in class that will say anything just to get his participation grade for the day. I can’t take him seriously as a news journalist nor now that he is feigning the activist role. He is a decent-looking person who reads a teleprompter well. That is why he is on TV. I wouldn’t be surprised if he moved to acting or game show hosting full-time. I could see him as a detective on one of the thousand procedural shows out there.

  21. walter says

    doesn’t matter who interviewed in the russian people never got to hear it. also why was trump nd putin so determined that it would be a gay to host the show. they were trying to cut down on the opposition to the games and nbc . do you also notice that nbc who owns both msnbs and bravo has a lot of money riding on the viewing of the games . they probably exerted pressure for a gay host and who better than someone whose paycheck they sign.

  22. MrRoboto says

    @AriesMatt – I don’t think any of us are going to Russia on a high profile visit, giving cover to Putin and his Orthodox Church thugs to say, “We don’t discriminate against gays. See, we let Thomas Roberts come over and host a beauty pageant.”

  23. says

    “the fact that he was there with his husband and criticized the laws was widely reported in the Russian media. ”

    Please give us some examples.

    The Russian gay sites: gay.ru, gayrussia.eu, queerussia.info have nothing, and they report anything like this, for example Madonna or Gaga saying gay positive things.

    A search in Russian provides only reporting on Western media.

    NOTHING in Russian or in Russian media that would be seen by the average Russian. Nothing.

    Please refute with Russian sources.

  24. says

    @Denizo: my Russian-fluent husband has looked for Russian media reports (as opposed to Russian translations of Western media) and finds nothing, so it would be helpful if you give links to the Russian media–if his visit is so widely reported?

    Otherwise, it seems like Roberts is basically going through the motions with Western media in a superficial attempt to mute criticism for his dubious acceptance of a silly job offered by homophobe Trump that feeds nicely into Putin’s propaganda–gay people like Thomas are welcomed with open arms here in tolerant Russia!

    GR8GUYCA’s first comment said it entertainingly well.

  25. says

    And to agree with Mrroboto, one of the few Russian sites to come up in a google search is titled “Thomas Roberts announced that he was not in Russia subject to any discrimination on the part of homophobes.”

    So that’s the message that might get through to actual Russians.

    YAY!

  26. FFS says

    Regardless of whether his motives were altruistic or self-serving, Thomas Roberts is still hotter than all of you bitching heifers put together.

    Get stuffed, Rick. No one cares who you’re proud of.

  27. BreckRoy says

    So far he’s pretty much the only out celebrity who has gone to Russia and NOT toned down his rhetoric…he has been critical the whole time he’s been there. he has called it wrong, discrimination, and unfair WHILE ON RUSSIAN SOIL. He has filed multiple stories to raise the profile of the issue (again, from Russian soil) in America. This is more than any other gay celebrity or athlete has agreed to do, period. Some are boycotting, yes, others are going and staying quiet, which sucks, and others are going but, like Elton, only going to speak out “privately,” whatver that means. Roberts actually went to Russia, covered the injustice openly, and called it injustice crom Russian soil. That puts him ahead of all other gay celbrities to date. know people wanted him to throw bombs and condemn from an activist POV. But that is not the only way things get done. To excioriate him with no acknowledgement of what he did do while over there is ridiculous.

  28. breckroy says

    So far he’s pretty much the only out celebrity who has gone to Russia and NOT toned down his rhetoric…he has been critical the whole time he’s been there. he has called it wrong, discrimination, and unfair WHILE ON RUSSIAN SOIL. He has filed multiple stories to raise the profile of the issue (again, from Russian soil) in America. This is more than any other gay celebrity or athlete has agreed to do, period. Some are boycotting, yes, others are going and staying quiet, which sucks, and others are going but, like Elton, only going to speak out “privately,” whatver that means. Roberts actually went to Russia, covered the injustice openly, and called it injustice crom Russian soil. That puts him ahead of all other gay celbrities to date. know people wanted him to throw bombs and condemn from an activist POV. But that is not the only way things get done. To excioriate him with no acknowledgement of what he did do while over there is ridiculous.

  29. UFFDA says

    Thanks Rick, BRECKROY and too few others for praise of Tom. I hope when he reads these comments he won’t give a second of consideration to the nay sayers who, as always, can’t be made happy. That’s the fundamental reason why their judgements are worthless.

  30. Liam says

    I tried to watch this. I really did because I wanted to see what Thomas Roberts would say. I quickly lost all focus on that. It was like a really bad Saturday Night Live routine. The women all looked like hookers, their “national” costumes looked like bad drag queen garb. It was just awful from the beginning to the end. The worst pageant I have ever seen on television.

  31. E. Carpenter says

    @SEAN MALONEY – sorry, Sean, accusing me of being an imposter instead of answering my question won’t work. That’s a typical troll tactic here.

    The question you didn’t answer was, what have you done personally to change the homophobic environment in Russia?

    The answer, I strongly suspect, is nothing at all. Like the other snipers here, you prefer to spend your time attacking gay people online for fun, and you haven’t spent a minute or a dime to change anything for the better, in Russia or anywhere else in the world.

  32. idiotstick says

    What a horrible horrible person Roberts is! He should have been waving around a stupid rainbow flag, acting prissy, throwing a dramatic tantrum and wearing glitter. Instead, he’s representing the gay community as a successful, well spoken, distinguished gay man in a committed relationship. Shame on him!

    For those who don’t get my sarcasm, that was sarcasm. Some of the commenters here are truly stupid.

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