Dustin Lance Black calls on Hollywood to use its clout against Vladimir Putin and Russia’s anti-gay laws
Since Dustin Lance Black regularly juggles his entertainment industry career with political activism, who better than this Oscar winning screenwriter to tell Hollywood to take off its blinders to what is going on in Russia when it comes to LGBT people.
Here are some excerpts from a call to action he’s written published in The Hollywood Reporter:
Just days after the Supreme Court made so many of us feel more American with a pair of favorable marriage-equality rulings, on the other side of the globe, Russian President Vladimir Putin enacted some of the most vehemently anti-gay laws the world has ever known. The most dangerous weapon he has against his own LGBT citizens is the apathy that may spring from international ignorance and our own potential domestic contentment.
Last week, my friend Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, sent a letter to six major studios and the Motion Picture Association of America, urging them to speak out about the ongoing atrocities in Russia. So far, every one of them has avoided comment. The truth is, there is virtually no other industry that can make a greater impact than ours. In 2012, annual box-office returns for the top 50 films in Russia topped $900 million. Nearly every one of those movies is a product of Hollywood. Our business matters to Russia, our voices are heard in Russia, and the combination of these avenues of influence can absolutely help end these dark days there.
Because the truth is, the other thing that will soon be noted by Putin and LGBT Russians alike is our industry’s silence and apathy. And LGBT Russians living in fear and putting their lives on the line deserve better than our inaction and silence.