Hugh Laurie has infuriated Russian commentators by calling for a boycott of the country's vodka following President Putin’s recent comments that gay people would be welcome in the Russian state as long as they “leave children in peace”.
Posting a message on his Twitter feed on Tuesday, the House actor said:
I'd boycott Russian goods if I could think of a single thing they made besides the rest of the world depressed.— Hugh Laurie (@hughlaurie) January 18, 2014
Yes, alright, Russian vodka is ok if you need to clean the oven. For drinking, it must henceforth be Polish.— Hugh Laurie (@hughlaurie) January 18, 2014
However, his missive was immediately attacked, with Russian sports journalist Stepan Chaushyan calling for a boycott of Laurie. "Hugh forgot one thing: Russian money could very easily boycott him," wrote Chaushyan.
Russian NTV state television channel commentator, Savva Mirosh, expressed similar sentiments: "That's right, go ahead and boycott us, but you'll have to start with gas, not vodka."
However, the Blackadder star’s comments also won plaudits from LGBT campaigner in Russia, with Matvei Alexandrov writing on the Gay.ru website: "With what irony and how correctly he noted everything. Thank you Hugh"
Laurie has since retracted his suggestion, instead urging good, kind Russians to stand up to the slab-faced goons who deal in this kind of poison'
I retract. Instead, I urge good, kind Russians to stand up to the slab-faced goons who deal in this kind of poison.— Hugh Laurie (@hughlaurie) January 18, 2014
Last year, Putin passed a bill to stop the publication of homosexual 'propaganda', a sop to the Russian Orthodox Church that has long-demanded the criminalisation of all homosexual activity.
In speaking out, Laurie becomes the latest celebrity to decry Putin's antediluvian attitude to equal rights. See the slideshow below for more stars that have sounded off on Russia's anti-gay laws.
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