Russia used its anti-LGBTQ+ laws to convict a rapper who showed up to a celeb’s ‘almost-naked’ party in just a sock
People attend an “almost naked” party at Moscow’s Mutabor nightclub.
OSTOROZHNO NOVOSTI via Reuters
Russian authorities say a rapper’s wardrobe at a star-studded “almost-naked” party in Moscow counts as gay propaganda — and a crime.
The outfit? A well-placed sock.
The rapper Vacio attended the controversial soiree hosted by Russian social media influencer Anastasia Ivleeva and was jailed this week for violating Russia’s notorious anti-LGBTQ+ law, which prohibits citizens from promoting or “praising” homosexual relationships.
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The theme of Ivleeva’s star-studded party was “nude illusion” and guests paid nearly $11,000 a pop to attend the event last week, according to The Washington Post.
Vacio, whose real name is Nikolai Vasilyev, showed up wearing shoes and a strategically placed sock. He was sentenced to 15 days in jail after attending the nightclub party.
Conservative Russian officials and activists are now furious and say the attendees should be boycotted and punished.
Several people who attended the party have since been dropped by brands they were promoting and had public appearances canceled.
Ivleeva herself initially brushed off the criticism, according to independent Russian media outlet Meduza. But as the backlash intensified, the influencer shared an emotional apology video on Telegram.
The Russian singer Filipp Kirkorov also asked the public for forgiveness, according to The Guardian.
“There are moments in everyone’s life when you walk through the wrong door,” he said. “In these difficult times, heroic times, an artist of my caliber, a people’s artist, cannot and should not be so irresponsible when participating in various events.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the “gay propaganda” bill into law last year, which bars Russians from making “public expressions of non-heterosexual orientations” or suggesting that they’re “normal.”
The measure expanded on a 2013 law that criminalized the expression of non-heterosexual relationships to minors. The new bill that Putin signed last year extended that ban to all ages, according to Time.