Singer claims to have rejected invitation from oligarch friend to perform at ceremonies over concerns about recent legislation
Cher claims to have rejected an invitation to perform at the Sochi Winter Olympics. Although she was asked to participate in February’s official opening ceremonies, the singer said she “immediately” refused out of solidarity with Russia’s gay community.
Speaking with the Canadian magazine Maclean’s, Cher recounted receiving a call from a friend “who is a big [Russian oligarch]”. “[He] asked me if I’d like to be an ambassador for the Olympics and open the show,” she said. “I immediately said no. I want to know why all of this gay hate just exploded over there. He said the Russian people don’t feel the way the government does.”
Cher is no stranger to Russia: she has performed there twice in the past year. And while she said she “can’t name names” when it comes to her friend the oligarch, both of her recent gigs were at the invitation of billionaire businessman/politician Suleyman Kerimov. Kerimov is the world’s 162nd-richest man, according to Forbes; he is also a huge Cher fan. He brought the Believe singer to Moscow for a private party in December 2012, and then to his home province of Dagestan this July for the opening of a new football stadium. “Russia is Great … COLD BUT GREAT!” Cher tweeted at the time of the December show. “Here is pic of me wearing my friend’s [giant, fur] hat!”
Cher is a longtime advocate of LGBT rights, spurred by events “in the early days” of Sonny and Cher, as well as her experiences as mother to a transgender child. “People hated Sonny and I … because we looked and acted so different,” she told Maclean’s. “Sonny was always getting into fights – people would called him ‘fag’ and he’d get his nose broken – only because we were dressing different … You can’t forget that.”
Artists such as the Bloodhound Gang, Madonna and Lady Gaga have spoken out against Russia’s recent anti-gay legislation, including a law that prohibits teaching minors about “non-traditional sexual relations”. The upcoming Sochi Games have become a focal point for the controversy, with activists calling for formal protests and boycotts, with some even proposing that Russia be stripped of its role as Olympic host.
Closer to the Truth, Cher’s 26th studio album, is out on 24 September.
John Oliver explains how Dems can bring the pain to Mitch McConnell — even if he wins re-election
"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver returned to his Sunday show, fresh off of an Emmy win, to explain how the United States got so incredibly f*cked up.
Oliver began by remembering Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and noting that her seat will be taken over by a far-right conservative justice who will unmake healthcare, reproductive freedom, LGBTQ rights and more things Americans have indicated they want.
He played a clip of Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) claiming that America is a "center-right" country, which Oliver called outright "bullsh*t." Not only do Americans overwhelming support reproductive freedom, they also support LGBTQ equality. At the same time, Americans also believe, overwhelmingly, that President Donald Trump shouldn't be allowed to appoint the next justice.
Trump campaign blames Dems for ex-campaign manager Parscale’s reported self-harm threat
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"The disgusting, personal attacks from Democrats and disgruntled RINOs have gone too far, and they should be ashamed of themselves for what they've done to this man and his family," said Trump campaign’s communications director Tim Murtaugh.
Former Army prosecutor explains why Trump will ‘get laughed out of court’ if he tries to steal the election
Democrats are still panicking about the plots that President Donald Trump and the Republican Party seem to be cooking up to circumvent the people's vote in November.
Last week's shocking piece in The Atlantic detailed how electors in Pennsylvania could be manipulated to deliver Trump the vote despite ballots to the contrary. After President George W. Bush's campaign convincing the Supreme Court to stop Florida from counting the 2000 election ballots, there is a fear that Trump too could manipulate the courts to get his Supreme Court justices to deliver him a win.