Wentworth Miller, best known for his role on Prison Break, came out as a gay man in an open letter to the St. Petersburg International Film Festival. The fest invited him to attend, and although Miller cited ties to Russia and pleasant visits to the country in the past, he said no.
“As a gay man, I must decline,” Miller wrote in his letter. “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.”
He signed the letter by asserting his membership in GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, and The ManKind Project. GLAAD reps supported Miller’s stance with their own statement:
“Wentworth’s bold show of support sends a powerful message to LGBT Russians, who are facing extreme violence and persecution: you are not alone,” GLAAD spokesman Wilson Cruz said in a statement. “As people from across the globe continue to speak out against Russia’s horrific law, more celebrities and corporations should follow his courageous lead in openly condemning Russia’s anti-LGBT law.”
Russian president Vladimir Putin’s stringent anti-gay laws have met with much resistance both outside the country and within its own population, especially with Russia hosting next year’s winter Olympics.