Wentworth Miller, ‘Prison Break’ Actor, Comes Out As Gay While Declining Russian Film Fest Invitation
Wentworth Miller, who starred as Michael Scofield in FOX's Prison Break, came out as gay in an open letter to the St. Petersburg International Film Festival in which he criticized Russia’s treatment of the LGBT community.
The film festival had asked the 41-year-old actor to attend, and he felt obligated to decline and explain his reasoning for doing so.
"Thank you for your kind invitation. 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,” Miller began his letter. “However, a gay man, I must decline.”
“I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government,” he explained. “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.”
Wentworth Miller in 'Prison Break'
Miller signed his letter symbolically listing his memberships in the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD and The Mankind Project. GLAAD, who posted Miller’s letter to their website, released a statement through representative and actor Wilson Cruz.
“Wentworth’s bold show of support sends a powerful message to LGBT Russians, who are facing extreme violence and persecution: you are not alone,” 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.”
Russia’s recent implementation of anti-gay laws include fines for those who allegedly spread “propaganda of non-traditional sexual realtions” to minors, the banning of gay pride rallies and the banning of same-sex couples looking to adopt Russian-born children. Furthermore, foreign travelers “propagandizing” homosexuality can be fined $3,000, detained in prison for up to 15 days, deported and denied entry into the country in the future.
“Perhaps, when and if circumstances improve, I'll be free to make a different choice,” Miller concluded his letter. “Until then.”
– Chelsea Regan