Russia will probe the recent national music awards for “gay propaganda” after it featured attendees in gender-flipped clothing and what viewers said resembled a gay marriage ceremony.
Last Friday’s Muz-TV music awards broadcast sparked controversy when beauty blogger Igor Sinyak walked the red carpet in a gown and one of Russia’s highest-paid TikTokers Danya Milokhin appeared in a half-dress, half-tuxedo.
Pop icon Filipp Kirkorov also turned heads when he and rapper Dava, both wearing tailcoats, arrived in a flower-adorned convertible accompanied by oiled and shirtless bodybuilders. Some viewers likened their appearance to a “coming out” or a gay wedding.
“Roskomnadzor will analyze the Muz-TV awards broadcast for violations of Russia’s current legislation, including in the realm of protecting children from information that harms their health and development,” the state media watchdog Roskomnadzor's press service told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency Tuesday.
Muz-TV could be fined up to 1 million rubles ($14,000) and suspended for up to 90 days if found to have violated Russia’s controversial law against “gay propaganda.”
Sinyak, who has worn women's dresses in photo and video shoots in the past, told the independent Dozhd broadcaster that he's received violent threats over his dress at the Muz-TV awards. He added that he hasn't yet been contacted by Roskomnadzor and that Muz-TV has already invited him to next year's awards.
Russia banned “propaganda of homosexuality toward minors” in 2013, drawing criticism from Western states and human rights activists. Despite the criticisms, the country’s efforts to curb gay rights have struck a chord with socially conservative Russians who form President Vladimir Putin’s support base.
Russia’s constitutional changes adopted last year contain a clause defining marriage as between a man and a woman only.