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Johnny Weir Faces Off with LGBT Activists at Barnard Appearance, Calls Them 'Idiots'

Earlier I posted about Queer Nation protests of Johnny Weir at a talk at Barnard College last night. Weir appeared at the talk with his husband, Victor Weir-Voronov. The openly gay skater is contracted to work at the Sochi Games as a commentator for NBC.

Weir_voronovApparently there were fireworks inside the talk as well, as Weir defended his love of Russia and attacked the LGBT activists protesting him outside.

Reports Andy Humm at Gay City News:

During his talk he spoke of “idiots like the ones outside tonight, dumping vodka in the street,” action he dismissed as useless.

“They say all these stupid things,” he told the audience of about 40 Barnard women students. “I never supported the [Russian] government. I supported the people.”

Polling shows the Russian people support the anti-gay laws overwhelmingly.


“We’re angry at him for not telling the truth about what’s going on in Russia to LGBT Russians and everybody else who dissents, who are being brutalized,” said Ann Northrop of Queer Nation at the protest. “He is selling out millions of people to satisfy his desire not to forgo his income or status. Is this what he would have done in Germany in 1936?”

Protest_weirVersha Sharma at Vocativ backs up Humm's report:

The real tension came when he referenced “idiots like the four outside,” referring to the half-dozen activists from organizations Queer Nation and RUSA LGBT who were protesting the event. They held up a banner in front of the school gates that read, “Weir: Russian Olympic Clown; N.B.C.: Naive Bloody Collaborators.”


“I as a gay man hope there’s a beautiful iconic moment, but I don’t think it will happen in Sochi,” Weir said.

The iconic moment of Weir’s talk came when longtime activist and reporter Andy Humm called out Weir for his “idiots” comment and demanded the figure skater apologize.

“You insulted them,” Humm told Weir, pointing out that the activists outside “have 100-plus years of experience…they won your right to get married.”

“When I feel attacked, I have the right and ability to say something,” Weir responded, and then apologized.

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  1. Does anyone really care about him?

    Posted by: Paul R | Dec 3, 2013 12:50:01 PM

  2. get this mincing little opportunist out of here

    Posted by: whatthefuck | Dec 3, 2013 12:52:47 PM

  3. He's like Van Cliburn on ice! Except the Russians either hate Weir, or never heard of him.

    Posted by: Pooty Poot | Dec 3, 2013 12:57:29 PM

  4. Weir is such a tool...

    Posted by: luminum | Dec 3, 2013 12:58:44 PM

  5. He has turned into a cartoon version of himself. Which isn't saying much.

    Posted by: C.J. | Dec 3, 2013 1:00:15 PM

  6. Really, the last thing we should be doing is protesting against LGBT people who disagree with us on how to deal with Russian politics. If we disagree, we should deal with it and move on. Any energy we spend on sniping at each other should be used more constructively.

    Posted by: Jack M | Dec 3, 2013 1:01:57 PM

  7. "Idiots" ; "1936 Germany" .. glad both sides are addressing each other calmly, rationally and respectfully.

    Posted by: Glenn | Dec 3, 2013 1:03:41 PM

  8. Didn't he wear a Russian military uniform on tv a few months ago? That's a pretty clear endorsement of the current regime. After what's been going on there, for him to do that was a stab in the back.

    Posted by: Martin | Dec 3, 2013 1:03:59 PM

  9. Johnny Wier is such a fool.

    Posted by: Howard | Dec 3, 2013 1:04:36 PM

  10. He's right that dumping out vodka (almost none of which is actually made in Russia) was pointless. He's also right that our boycotting of the Olympics would be pointless as well. It's better to let the gay and lesbian athletes go there and kick ass. I don't see where Weir is minimizing the plight of our Russian brothers and sisters. He was a dumb-ass for calling people idiots though - the protesters have a valid reason for being pissed off.

    Posted by: Ricky | Dec 3, 2013 1:13:11 PM

  11. Divide and conquer. Works every time.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Dec 3, 2013 1:25:41 PM

  12. dumping the vodka served its purpose-it brought awareness-it wasnt intended to do anything more than that

    Posted by: Nathan | Dec 3, 2013 1:29:13 PM

  13. So tired of that pointless person.

    Posted by: Randy | Dec 3, 2013 1:42:20 PM

  14. Weir is wrong when he says the Russia law is a “law that says you can’t have anal sex in front of libraries.”

    It's a little bit more oppressive than a ban on public sex.

    Unfortunately this NBC token tool won't stop talking about things beyond his depth of understanding.

    Posted by: Clarknt67 | Dec 3, 2013 1:46:15 PM

  15. Oh please. 95% of the screaming that those people with "100 years of experience" did accomplished nothing. At the end of the day, it was the quiet professionals, friends, and people who can negotiate without alienating and insulting people that won gay marriage. Staging events to accost people doesn't make anyone want to support me.

    Posted by: Joey Y | Dec 3, 2013 2:03:02 PM

  16. I wouldn't have apologized. Those protestors ARE idiots. How come they're not picketing Tom Brokaw or Bob Costas? Fecking hypocrites.

    Posted by: Morris Schwartz | Dec 3, 2013 2:05:28 PM

  17. Johnny who?

    Posted by: Mark Alexander | Dec 3, 2013 2:09:48 PM

  18. @Morris

    Because it's obvious that Weird was hired to for the sole reason to deflect criticism away from NBC. It also benefits the network at that little Kapo has fans in Russia who support his gay male = flamboyancy only/respect the military/no criticism agenda. Basically he is a neutered gay.

    Posted by: Tired | Dec 3, 2013 2:11:01 PM

  19. @Ricky: people have a valid reason to object to Russia's oppressive law, but nothing stops idiots from objecting as well as sensible people.

    Those people protesting probably are idiots. Hopefully, once the relevant powers that be notice and decide that putting up with the protests is worse than doing something about the problem, there will be sensible people who can negotiate with them and actually get somewhere.

    Posted by: Bill | Dec 3, 2013 2:31:47 PM

  20. Ann Northrop's comparison of Russia today with Germany 1936 was insulting, idiotic and hysterical.

    Posted by: andrew | Dec 3, 2013 3:01:11 PM

  21. It's certainly the case that NBC and Weir are NOT going to ruffle any feathers during the Olympics. NBC spent billions acquiring the rights to broadcast the games and the IOC is a law unto itself. Their behavior is entirely motivated by self-interest. The protesters are pointing this out, but the majority of the blame still lies with the IOC and Russia, not NBC and Weir.

    Posted by: anon | Dec 3, 2013 3:12:18 PM

  22. This is all so self-defeating. The smart way to handle this is to work behind the scenes to encourage Johnny Weir to use his position at the Sochi Olympics to bring attention to the plight of gays in Russia and to make some statements for human rights and equality. Should he not do that at that time, then, he should be criticized and not before.

    Posted by: RonCharles | Dec 3, 2013 3:20:57 PM

  23. This is all so stupid. The Gay Community is allowing Russia to divide and conquer it's ranks.
    If Johnny Weir wants to be a commentator over in Russia, let him. In fact, more power to him as a gay man. He doesn't have to be an activist. We're not all clones.

    Posted by: David From Canada | Dec 3, 2013 3:56:50 PM

  24. Goodness me, we can't publicly protest against Russian human rights violations. We should follow Mitt Romney's advice about taxes and discuss it with civility behind closed doors - not!

    If only those of us who marched for civil rights in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s had realized this, we could have saved a lot of shoe leather.

    And, how about those brave Act Up folks who stood up, marched and protested during the AIDS crisis? Were they ineffective?

    To be so dismissive without understanding historical context is definitely insulting and non-productive

    Posted by: Jon | Dec 3, 2013 4:05:12 PM

  25. He is a user, and he knows it. He isn’t worth the time I am wasting to post this comment….so I will hush.

    Posted by: Rolland | Dec 3, 2013 4:38:49 PM

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