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NBC Hit With Protests for Ignoring Gays in Russia in Lead-Up to Sochi Winter Olympics: VIDEO

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Queer Nation protested outside NBC's Sports Department holiday party outside a restaurant on East 30th street in NYC yesterday. The banner was sewn by Gilbert Baker, the creator of the Rainbow Flag.

Earlier in the day, the group hit the Today show holiday party.

Pogrom Nbc_wtf
The group explained its actions in a press release:

Charging that NBC is misinforming its viewers about the dire circumstances of LGBT Russians ahead of its broadcast of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Russia, LGBT activists will demand that NBC tell the truth about Russia and its anti-LGBT laws.

“NBC has dispatched Olympic commentator Johnny Weir and MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts, two openly gay men, to soft-pedal the Russian government’s anti-LGBT bigotry,” said Ken Kidd, a member of Queer Nation NY, an LGBT rights group. “LGBT Russians have been vilified, assaulted, tortured, murdered, and fired from their jobs by the Russian government and by Russian thugs. It’s past time for NBC to report the facts about Russia.”

NBC, which spent hundreds of millions of dollars for the broadcast rights for the Sochi Olympics, said in a Dec. 3 statement, "As we’ve previously stated, NBC will cover all newsworthy issues as they are relevant to the Games, including the LGBT law.” The following events have transpired since then; NBC has reported on none of them:

- Dec. 5: New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli asks 10 Olympic sponsors to oppose Russia’s anti-LGBT laws.
- Dec. 6: At his Moscow concert, Elton John condemns Russia's anti-LGBT laws.
- Dec. 8: German President Joachim Gauck declares he will boycott the Olympics over Russian human rights violations.
- Dec. 10: European Union Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding says she will boycott Olympics over Russian human rights violations.
- Violence against LGBT Russian continues unabated and Russian government does nothing.

Weir and Roberts cover the Olympics for NBC. Roberts hosted the Nov. 9 Miss Universe pageant that was held in Moscow and broadcast on NBC; in Moscow, he made comments that minimized the harm of Russia’s anti-LGBT laws. Weir, who also works for the Russian consulate in New York City, has consistently praised Russia and defended one of Russia’s anti-LGBT laws at a recent appearance at Barnard College.

A story on Americablog revealed yesterday that Weir's bio claimed that he worked for the Russian consulate, a detail that was scrubbed immediately after the story came out.

The scrubbing was followed by a statement from Weir and his publicist saying that the figure skater had never worked for the Russian government.

Weir also tweeted: "I have never worked at or for a Russian consulate. I don't know where people get this stuff. XO"

Queer Nation also released a video yesterday, Olympic Jive, highlighting the Russian anti-gay laws and denouncing the IOC and its sponsors for standing by and doing nothing.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Weir is a Kapo. Case closed.

    Posted by: Guido | Dec 13, 2013 9:21:02 AM


  2. Here is a list of NBC OWNED stations that You and your significant others can boycott;

    Just say 'Nyet!' to NBC and Sochi. It's not too late to turn the channel off.

    NBC OWNED STATIONS:

    Bravo Media
    Esquire Network (JV)
    Oxygen Media
    PBS Kids Sprout
    TVOne (JV)
    (digital networks)
    DailyCandy
    Fandango
    iVillage
    Television Without Pity
    Integrated Media group
    NBC Sports Group
    Comcast Sports Group
    Golf Channel
    NBC Sports
    NBC Sports Digital Network
    NBC Sports Network
    NBCUniversal Hispanic Enterprises and Content
    Telemundo
    mun2
    NBCUniversal News Group
    NBC News
    CNBC
    MSNBC
    The Weather Channel (JV)[42]

    Posted by: Percy Redstone | Dec 13, 2013 10:03:22 AM


  3. Weird is a Russian agent. Fire him!

    Posted by: litper | Dec 13, 2013 10:11:49 AM


  4. Weird is a Russian agent. Fire him!

    Posted by: litper | Dec 13, 2013 10:11:55 AM


  5. This is going to get ugly before it gets better.

    This Sochi Olympics is ruined by this horrible law and how NBC and the IOC are covering up the truth about this, including Mr. Weir.

    Any "sponsor endorsements" the winning athletes receive from these medals will be tainted as well. The money made by these athletes will be considered blood money off the backs of Russia's LBGT community.

    Stop watching and stop buying anything Russian!!

    Ugh, it is all just disgusting.

    Posted by: Will G. | Dec 13, 2013 10:28:48 AM


  6. This is going to get ugly before it gets better.

    This Sochi Olympics is ruined by this horrible law and how NBC and the IOC are covering up the truth about this, including Mr. Weir.

    Any "sponsor endorsements" the winning athletes receive from these medals will be tainted as well. The money made by these athletes will be considered blood money off the backs of Russia's LBGT community.

    Stop watching and stop buying anything Russian!!

    Ugh, it is all just disgusting.

    Posted by: Will G. | Dec 13, 2013 10:28:54 AM


  7. This is going to get ugly before it gets better.

    This Sochi Olympics is ruined by this horrible law and how NBC and the IOC are covering up the truth about this, including Mr. Weir.

    Any "sponsor endorsements" the winning athletes receive from these medals will be tainted as well. The money made by these athletes will be considered blood money off the backs of Russia's LBGT community.

    Stop watching and stop buying anything Russian!!

    Ugh, it is all just disgusting.

    Posted by: Will G. | Dec 13, 2013 10:28:54 AM


  8. This is going to get ugly before it gets better.

    This Sochi Olympics is ruined by this horrible law and how NBC and the IOC are covering up the truth about this, including Mr. Weir.

    Any "sponsor endorsements" the winning athletes receive from these medals will be tainted as well. The money made by these athletes will be considered blood money off the backs of Russia's LBGT community.

    Stop watching and stop buying anything Russian!!

    Ugh, it is all just disgusting.

    Posted by: Will G. | Dec 13, 2013 10:29:08 AM


  9. Sorry everyone postt button went crazy.

    Posted by: Will G. | Dec 13, 2013 10:30:58 AM


  10. Sorry everyone post button went crazy.

    Posted by: Will G. | Dec 13, 2013 10:31:10 AM


  11. The protests should start in Feb, not now. The Olympics were ruined by the Nazis in the 30's and never recovered. This is nothing new.

    Posted by: anon | Dec 13, 2013 12:33:23 PM


  12. When you make assertions that are discredited by a primary source, you lose credibility. Just because something is online doesn't make it true.

    Attending an event at the Russian Consulate doesn't mean Weir worked there. Supporting a charity that has an event at the Consulate doesn't mean Weir worked there.

    Posted by: alex | Dec 13, 2013 6:41:05 PM


  13. @Alex

    Weir's bio at premierespeakers.com, the agency that reps him, said he "works with the Russian Children’s Welfare Society and Russian Consulate in New York City." This is what Weir said about himself. While Premiere Speakers has cleansed that bio, it is still up at the Harriman Institute at the link below. If you don't like what it says, take it up with Johnny Weir.

    http://harriman.columbia.edu/event/sochi-olympics-and-role-athletes

    Posted by: d. | Dec 13, 2013 11:03:38 PM


  14. How many people are there? Five?

    Posted by: SVK | Dec 13, 2013 11:46:07 PM


  15. Once again, for those in the back, watching or not watching NBC broadcasts (on cable or over the air) only affects ratings if you have a Nielsen box. If you want to actually do something helpful, support groups such as Amnesty Int'l and IGLHRC.

    You could also ask your local NBC affiliate to do some reporting on the issue. A "boycott" won't actually do much.

    Posted by: David R. | Dec 14, 2013 2:26:38 AM


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