Rupert Everett ‘absolutely’ agrees with Stephen Fry over Sochi Winter Olympics boycott

Actor Rupert Evertt has voiced his agreement with an open letter sent to Prime Minister David Cameron by actor and broadcaster Stephen Fry urging a boycott of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

Calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to intervene, Mr Fry last week compared the Sochi situation to the decision to hold the 1936 Olympic Games in Nazi Germany and said President Vladimir Putin “is making scapegoats of gay people”.

Mr Cameron later tweeted a response to say that he shares his “deep concern about the abuse of gay people in Russia.” Mr Cameron added that this abuse can be challenged by attending, not boycotting the Winter Olympics.

Speaking at the Edinburgh international book festival, Everett said he “absolutely” agreed with Fry’s letter.

“It feels terrible to have to observe all this stuff going on,” he said. “If you are gay in Russia you don’t know anything about anything. You have no idea Aids exists because there’s no information. You live very secretly. If anyone finds out you are gay you are liable to be beaten up, or killed, or forced to commit suicide.

President Vladimir Putin signed the law in June banning the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” toward minors, a move that has been criticised as part of a broader crackdown on Russia’s gay community. Other laws banning the adoption of Russian children by foreign same-sex couples, and one which enables organisations receiving funding from abroad to be fined as “foreign agents”, were also passed.

The laws have so far sparked controversy among LGBT activists, with some calling for a boycott of the 2014 Games. Others have also called to boycott Russian vodka as a form of protest.

The Russian Interior Ministry confirmed on Monday that the anti-gay legislation will remain in force during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

A petition which has gathered over 150,000 signatures, calls for the 2014 games to be relocated to Vancouver, following the passage of anti-gay laws in Russia.

British Prime Minister David Cameron joined writer and broadcaster Stephen Fry and businessman Evgeny Lebedev for private drinks in an East-End restaurant last Monday evening, just days after an exchange between Mr Cameron and Mr Fry over the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.