Wentworth Miller, best known as the star of the Fox series Prison Break (and, more recently, as the screenwriter on Park Chan-wook’s Stoker), has declined an invitation to attend the St. Petersburg International Film Festival, as a protest against the Russian government’s “current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women”—an attitude that has personal meaning to Miller, who also used the letter to out himself.
In the letter published on GLAAD’s website, Miller wrote, “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.” Miller went on to describe the country’s recent legislation—such as laws banning pro-homosexual “propaganda” and denying same-sex couples from other countries the right to adopt Russian-born children—as part of a “situation [that] 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.”
In 2007, Miller denied reports about his sexual orientation, telling Germany’s In Style magazine, “I’m not gay, but that rumor can’t be killed.” Miller’s letter was praised by GLAAD spokesman (and fellow actor) Wilson Cruz as a “bold show of support [that] sends a message to LGBT Russians, who are facing extreme violence and persecution: You are not alone.”
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