Thomas Roberts Hub




Thomas Roberts on World Leaders Attending or Not Attending the Sochi Olympics: VIDEO

Gaylord

Thomas Roberts spoke with Human Rights First official Shawn Gaylord about recent news that no French officials (including the president) will attend the Sochi Winter Olympics over Russia's human rights abuses and requests from activists that out gays and lesbians be included in the official U.S. delegation.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Athlete Ally's Hudson Taylor and AllOut's Andre Banks Talk 'Principle 6' with Thomas Roberts: VIDEO

Principle6

Yesterday we reported on the collaboration between Athlete Ally, AllOut, and American Apparel on a new 'Principle 6' line of protest merchandise meant to draw attention to the plight of LGBT people during the Sochi Games in Russia.

The apparel, they argue, is a way to avoid the country's ban on 'gay propaganda' while at the same time expressing solidarity with those affected by oppressive anti-gay laws.

Watch the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Taylor_banks

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Donald Trump Still Opposed to Same-Sex Marriage, Claims to Be 'Evolving': VIDEO

Trump

Miss Universe host and MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts spoke to Donald Trump in an interview conducted prior to the Miss Universe pageant on Saturday, asking Trump why he chose to go to Moscow for the pageant.

Said Trump:

"When we did it we didn't know this was such a controversy. Perhaps we should have known but we didn't. And after we signed it became quite controversial....As you also know, we have a lot of gay people who work at Miss Universe, and we spoke to them, we said, ‘What do you think?’ And they said, ‘We want to go. We want to show our stuff.’ And I like that attitude.'"

Roberts also asked Trump about his views on marriage equality, which have not changed:

"Well, I think I’m evolving, and I think I’m a very fair person, but I have been for traditional marriage....I am for traditional marriage. I am for a marriage between a man and a woman. I've been that for, that's the way...can it change? I don't know. But my stance right now is traditional marriage."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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

T_roberts

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."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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

Russia_roberts

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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Thomas Roberts Interviews Journalist Fired After Coming Out as Gay in Russia: VIDEO

Roberts

Thomas Roberts is in Russia for his hosting gig at the Miss Universe pageant later this week and has begun filing reports, his first with Anton Krasovsky, a Norwegian journalist who was fired last August after he came out as gay on live TV.

Roberts asked the emotional journalist about his motives for coming out and risking his livelihood:

"It's time to be open. I thought that it was my attempt to [reach out to] Russian gay people, to Russian people. To all Russian people. Because it's not about gay rights. It's about human rights."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Krasovsky

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