Ukraine’s Zelensky to consider replacing Russian empress statue with monument to gay porn star

Billy Herrington and the statue of Catherine the Great in Odessa, Ukraine

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky must consider a petition to have a statue of Catherine the Great in Odessa replaced with one of a gay porn star.

The petition, signed by more than 25,000 people, lays out five reasons that the statue of Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia from 1762 until 1796, should be replaced with a statue of American porn star Billy Herrington.

While some of the reasons are playful – “it’s funny”, “memes”, and “all students of Odesa universities will be able to drink beer with Billy Herrington after receiving their diploma” – others are far more serious.

The petition states that Catherine the Great “caused great damage to Ukrainian statehood and culture”, and continues: “The very fact of erecting this monument was a terrible mistake, and every day of its continued existence signals that Odessa is in the zone of Russian cultural influence.”

A statue of Herrington, it says, will make “a loud statement that Odessa is not some provincial town of the Russian Empire” and “that Odessa is not a part of Russian culture but has its own culture and sense of humour”.

Further, it would be “a clear signal that Ukraine supports the LGBT community” and a “very popular tourist attraction”.

Despite the efforts of Russian troops, Odessa is still held by Ukraine, although the city has been targeted by missiles in recent days.

Under Ukrainian law, any petition that is signed more than 25,000 times must be considered by the president within 10 days.

Herrington, who died in 2018, got into the porn industry after winning Playgirl magazine’s Real Men of the Month contest, and had a successful career in the late 90s and the early 2000s.

The multi award-winning porn star, who featured in films like Tales from the Foxhole, Lords of the Locker Room, and Flesh Trap, quit the industry in the mid-2000s so that he could focus on developing his bodybuilding career.