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Thomas Roberts Previews Miss Universe, Rips Anti-Gay Laws, Defends Hosting Gig: VIDEO

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MSNBC and NBC have been bookending coverage of Thomas Roberts' trip to Russia to host the Miss Universe Pageant with discussion of Russia's anti-gay laws and Roberts' experience as an openly gay host there, perhaps in an effort to blunt criticism he has received for accepting the hosting gig at the Trump-owned pageant.

So far, there have been no major revelations in terms of the laws having an effect on Roberts on a personal level and he continues to acknowledge the "privileged" position he is in compared to that of Russian LGBT citizens and defend his decision to host the pageant in an interview on Today.com. Yesterday, Roberts posted an interview with a Russian journalist, Anton Krasovsky, who was fired after he came out as gay on the air last August.

Roberts gave an interview to Savannah Guthrie on Today, and in a separate preview segment on MSNBC yesterday.

Watch both, AFTER THE JUMP...

Roberts also gave an interview to Agence France Presse blasting Russia's anti-gay laws:

"The Russian laws obviously are a dark time and a dark chapter in LGBT history here. They're seeking a solution to a problem that doesn't exist and meanwhile it causes new problems because it allows people to abuse and hurt and vilify the LGBT community under the guise of some propaganda law that's just ridiculous....These laws represent the fact that the government is seeking a solution for a problem that doesn't really exist. There really is no reason to demonise the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) population. In this atmosphere here we're seeing the problem with homophobia being condoned and these laws actually allowing people to be victimized."

He told AFP that he did not know if his sexual orientation would be mentioned during the Miss Universe broadcast:

"If it does (come up) -- great. If people and the viewers at home that are watching learn more about me and know that I'm married and my husband is here, I think that's fantastic. I don't know if I'm here to promote gay rights, I think I'm here to promote that people like me deserve equal rights, because we are no different than any one else."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Ugh. Well, at least he's somewhat attractive although his cluelessness kind of negates that.

    Posted by: Sean Maloney | Nov 8, 2013 12:41:39 PM


  2. This guy is a sellout. Rather than actually help the gay community he is there for his own grandiosment. I'm disgusted by the guy. He should be boycotting the pageant and the Olympics rather than making sure Putin's coffers are filled with American money.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Nov 8, 2013 12:43:03 PM


  3. easy on the eyeliner big guy

    Posted by: tcw | Nov 8, 2013 12:48:22 PM


  4. Good lord, people. His being there will draw exponentially more attention to LGBT issues there than anybody deciding to just not show up for the Olympics.

    I'm *disgusted* by the simple-mind posts that continue to appear here on the subject.

    Posted by: kaccompany | Nov 8, 2013 12:50:32 PM


  5. I don't agree @kaccompany. Things he may say might draw attention to LGBT issues there, but his *sheer presence*, as he claims, will not.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Nov 8, 2013 12:53:50 PM


  6. Krasovsky is obviously Russian, not Norwegian.

    Perhaps wires got crossed with the story of Norwegian journalists harassed in Sochi recently?

    Posted by: KevinVt | Nov 8, 2013 12:58:17 PM


  7. We must wait for Saturday. The Miss Universe will be LIVE on Russian State TV! Please don't say any nasty things and let's wait for him to actually do something!

    Posted by: litper | Nov 8, 2013 1:02:50 PM


  8. I think it's great that he's there and he's not backing down. His reporting will do more for the gay people of Russia than the boycotts. The boycott announcements were important to draw attention but we have to continue to tell these stories.

    Posted by: db | Nov 8, 2013 1:07:20 PM


  9. Why are so many people bashing Thomas Roberts? He has always been an outspoken gay advocate and role model -- long before Anderson Cooper came out. He often includes a gay-rights segment on his MSNBC show. He's in Russia speaking out against the oppression of Russian gays. What more should we demand of him? He deserves some appreciation and respect.

    Posted by: Richard | Nov 8, 2013 1:36:34 PM


  10. Thomas Roberts is doing exactly the right thing. Across Russia, people will see an openly-gay man host the Miss Universe pageant and that will likely change a few minds about gay rights on a personal level. Furthermore, he is using his position as host of the pageant to call world attention to the plight of gays in Russia. More power to him!

    Posted by: RonCharles | Nov 8, 2013 1:42:23 PM


  11. Sorry. As much as I love Thomas Roberts, I regret that he is shilling for Donald Trump. He should go to Russia as a journalist and actually report on the violence that glbtq people are subjected to these days.

    Posted by: Jay | Nov 8, 2013 1:49:10 PM


  12. Meanwhile, Roberts' employer, NBC, is not going to do ANYTHING to jeopardize its coverage of the Sochi games, for which it paid a fortune.

    Posted by: keating | Nov 8, 2013 1:55:42 PM


  13. He doesn't have to worry. Donald's money will protect him.

    Posted by: Jack M | Nov 8, 2013 1:58:11 PM


  14. Yeah like your boycott of Stoli is doing a lot of good for the LGBT community in Russia...

    Having an out and proud and a VGL gay guy in the Russia spot light is doing so much more harm than you drinking Absolut.

    Posted by: Michael | Nov 8, 2013 1:59:31 PM


  15. He's gained a little weight. Looking chunky, Thomas! Get it together, gurl!

    Posted by: Frank | Nov 8, 2013 2:03:06 PM


  16. Perhaps he could donate his fee to an LGBT rights group. And maybe Elton John could do the same. (When pigs fly).

    Posted by: DW | Nov 8, 2013 2:03:25 PM


  17. His participation in this event helps to legitimize and make respectable Putin's regime on the world stage. That's wrong. And the fact that he'll gladly cash Donald Trump's paycheck makes it worse.

    Posted by: Profe Sancho Panza | Nov 8, 2013 2:04:49 PM


  18. "Perhaps he could donate his fee to an LGBT rights group. And maybe Elton John could do the same. (When pigs fly)."

    You'll never get that pig off the ground.

    Posted by: Dennis | Nov 8, 2013 2:18:15 PM


  19. Guyliner.

    Posted by: johnny | Nov 8, 2013 2:19:15 PM


  20. "VGL"? I remember the 70s, too. And lord knows what I demand from my political spokespeople is that they be "VGL". Thank god he's not fat or fem!

    Posted by: oncemorewithfeeling | Nov 8, 2013 2:26:33 PM


  21. I "bash" Thomas Roberts because he is selling you out. He is NOT seen on Russian television - not for one moment will the Russian government allow him to spout his gay propaganda so the claims that he is helping Russian gays is ridiculous. His camera time for the live event is also "not live" but delayed by Russian television to ensure he says little to nothing to advocate gay propaganda. He is there, and being paid, to lure you in to the Russian broadcast and generate as much income for the Russian government as possible. Stop being so naive.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Nov 8, 2013 3:12:13 PM


  22. Loving the look. Hair improvement.

    Posted by: Chuckles | Nov 8, 2013 3:21:52 PM


  23. The dude works for MSNBC, not The New York Times. Why do people think he should be anything more than he is. A cable news guy. He's handsome, gay and has an on-air job. He's where he's suppose to be at this stage of the game. Hosting a beauty pageant. Enough said.

    Posted by: Sam | Nov 8, 2013 3:27:43 PM


  24. Did he think Russia would provoke an international incident over him? Smell her. Did the Nazi's dismantle the final solution because Jesse Owens won some gold and repudiated their overarching philosophy? Roberts' Peace At Any Price stank will follow him forever. Trump's spray tan and comb over will emerge unscathed as it is impossible to destroy a conscience that doesn't exist.

    Posted by: Mastik8 | Nov 8, 2013 3:28:16 PM


  25. Why doesn't Thomas Roberts go on Russian TV and criticize its anti-gay laws? Everything he's done has been for the US audience, and has no effect whatsoever on what is going on in Russia.

    Thomas is a Benedict Arnold.

    Posted by: jimbryant | Nov 8, 2013 3:38:35 PM


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