A Russian actor has been jailed for “discrediting” the country’s law enforcement after he impersonated a drunk traffic cop in a video published on the popular Chinese app TikTok.
Police detained Dmitry Smolev inside one of Moscow’s most popular theaters shortly ahead of his performance Tuesday, film and theater critic Vyacheslav Shadronov said. In the since-deleted video, Smolev slurs his speech and wipes his saliva as he wobbles outside the Kremlin in a traffic police uniform.
Smolev “discredited the Russian law enforcement bodies with his behavior” and was charged with illegally wearing a uniform, Moscow police said Wednesday.
He was ordered to spend eight days behind bars on charges of petty hooliganism.
Smolev told police that an unknown blogger had asked him to participate in the video and had provided the uniform. “We were fooling around and filming this story while [the film crew] was rearranging the lights,” Smolev said in a video filmed inside a police station.
Smolev’s colleagues praised the jailed thespian for his acting skills.
“This work could be considered accomplished and even talented, judging by the reaction it caused,” Moscow’s Sovremennik Theater said in a statement.
The theater added that it plans to continue its performances of “Dyuma” despite the absence of Smolev, who has been playing a major role in the production.
Smolev’s employer, prominent actor Mikhail Yefremov, accused law enforcement authorities of “not having a sense of humor.”