Female fans of the popular hit series Prison Break may be letting out a collective sigh of disappointment this evening as Wentworth Miller has announced the reason behind his decision not to attend the St. Petersburg International Film Festival as the respected guest of honor. His reason, released in the form of a letter, as many popular and significant rejections tend to go down, was submitted to the festival’s director, Maria Averbakh.
“Thank you for your kind invitation. As someone who has enjoyed visiting Russia in the past and can also claim a degree of Russian ancestry, it would make me happy to say yes. However, as a gay man, I must decline. I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government. The situation is in no way acceptable, and I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly. Perhaps, when and if circumstances improve, I’ll be free to make a different choice.” Wentworth Miller shared these words via the GLAAD website in reference to a bill signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this year.
This law, having garnered much attention, concerns fines being placed on individuals who are Russian citizens as well as people who are either visiting or vacationing within the country. Public officials and organizations are not exempt from potential fines, relating to nothing more specific than engaging in the propaganda. What is the propaganda one may ask?
Article 6.21 of the Code of the Russian Federation on Administrative Offenses translates as follows: Propaganda is the act of distributing information among minors that 1) is aimed at the creating nontraditional sexual attitudes, 2) makes nontraditional sexual relations attractive, 3) equates the social value of traditional and nontraditional sexual relations, or 4) creates an interest in nontraditional sexual relations.
The handsome and talented actor became personally renown for his intellect as a Princeton graduate as well as professionally renown for the silent intensity he delivered to his role as the dutiful and reflective brother in Prison Break. Fans supported him during his early Dinotopian years and well into his scavenging-trying-to-break-free-of-these-prison-bar years. Maybe all he really needed was to break free from other intrinsically-less-noticeable prison bars.