Concert organizers for the Tallinn, Estonia “Augustibluus” summer blues festival axed action star Steven Seagal’s time slot due to his pro-Russia/Vladimir Putin leanings.
Back in March while filming a movie in Romania, actor, film producer, screenwriter, director, martial artist, musician and reserve deputy sheriff Seagal did an interview with the state-run Russian newspaper Rossiskaya Gazeta, in which he’d expressed that Vladimir Putin’s actions against Crimea are “highly reasonable.”
The 7th-dan black belt in Aikido commented that Putin’s “desire to protect the Russian-speaking people of Crimea, his assets, and the Russian Black Sea military base in Sevastopol … is very reasonable,” and added that the U.S. policy on Ukraine was “idiotic.”
Estonian rock star Tonis Magi, the Augustibluus headliner, called for a boycott of the Tallinn event if Seagal was allowed to perform.
Rock stars in Estonia do things a tad differently, as seen in a Tonis Magi video for a song called Mägi Ruja Rockooperis:
While confirming Seagal’s set was cancelled, Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet commented, “this situation has been solved. The festival organizers have made changes in the program.”
Paet added, “Steven Seagal has tried to actively participate in politics during the past few months and has done it in a way which is unacceptable to the majority of the world that respects democracy and the rule of law – Just like we can’t accept the partial occupation of our neighboring country, we also can’t accept mindless praise of it.”
Republican Seagal, a close friend of Putin’s, reportedly because they both share a keen interest in the martial arts, called the Russian president “one of the great living world leaders,” and remarked that he “would like to consider him as a brother.” In early March, the straight-to-video action star helped Putin relaunch a national physical fitness program that had been axed after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Here is a taste of what Estonia will be missing:
Image via Wikimedia Commons