Madonna has announced that it is unlikely she will ever perform in Russia, due to the country’s treatment of the LGBT community.
She made the comments in an interview to promote her upcoming tour, which begins in September.
The tour will involve concerts in 35 cities across North America, Europe and Australia.
However, the singer has stated that Russia will not be on that list.
I won’t appear in Moscow or St Petersburg anymore, because I don’t want to perform in places where being homosexual is tantamount to a crime.”
The singer has previously accused Vladimir Putin’s regime of showing
… blatant intolerance of gay rights, artistic freedom, freedom of speech, and human rights in general.”
And back in 2012 the singer spoke out against the arrest of pro-gay band Pussy Riot:
I was shocked and outraged when I heard about this, and I spoke about it openly on stage [in Moscow] during my show. For this I received several death threats.
What I realised when I went to Russia, and saw what was going on with Pussy Riot, and what was going on with the gay community, was how lucky I was and am to live in a country where I can speak my mind.
It’s time for the rest of the world to be as brave as Pussy Riot, to stand up against people like President Putin that do not respect human rights, and perpetuate oppression, discrimination, and injustice of any kind.
We all have a moral obligation to stand up for anyone who’s being persecuted, whether it’s down the street from us, or on the other side of the world.”
Conservative St. Petersburg lawmaker Vitaly Milonov – infamous for his anti-LGBT views – was quick to responded to the singer’s statement.
In an interview to Russian News Agency, Milonov called the singer a “hypocritical old lady” and accused her of prioritising gay rights over the lives of children suffering because of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.