Prison Break actor Wentworth Miller came out as gay in a letter rejecting his invitation to a Russian film festival, condemning the country’s anti-gay law. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Miller Came Out in a Statement After a Invitation to a Russian Film Festival
The 41-year-old star came out in a letter posted on GLAAD.org after being asked to attend the St. Petersburg International Film Festival.
“Thank you for your kind invitation,” Miller writes. “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. I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government. 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. Perhaps, when and if circumstances improve, I’ll be free to make a different choice.
2. Russia Recently Passed a Series of Anti-Gay Laws
Miller’s rejection letter, as he states, was in response to a series of anti-gay laws recently passed in Russia that has sparked much criticism around the world. In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill that classified “homosexual propaganda” as pornography and made those who provided it to minors subject to arrest. Another law signed in July bans the adoption of Russian-born children to gay couples and makes members of the LGBT community, even foreign tourists, subject to arrest. The laws have sparked protests around the world, even in the United States where some gay rights advocates have poured Russian vodka in the streets. The laws have also provided concern among openly homosexual athletes who plan to go to Russia for the 2014 Olympics.
3. The Actor Was Praised by Gay Rights Advocates
“Wentworth’s bold show of support sends a powerful message to LGBT Russians, who are facing extreme violence and persecution: you are not alone,” said GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz. “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.”
4. He Has Denied Being Gay in the Past
Although rumors about Miller’s sexuality have been going around for years, he has previously denied the claims, saying in one interview that he wanted to have a wife and kids. In another interview, he said, “I’m not gay. I know these rumors are out there. I’m cool with the fact that they exist, I mean this is about fantasy. Certain people are going to have certain fantasies.”
5. Miller Starred in Prison Break from 2005 to 2009
The actor is most known for his starring role in the Fox drama Prison Break from 2005 to 2009. He has recently been focusing on screen writing and uses the psedonym “Tom Foulke.”