Prison Break Star Wentworth Miller Comes Out As Gay, Declines Russian Film Festival Invitation

Tayla Holman - Author
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Aug. 21 2013, Updated 3:30 p.m. ET

Prison Break star Wentworth Miller has come out as a gay man in a letter to the organizers of the St. Petersburg International Film Festival.

Miller was invited to attend the festival, but declined in the wake of Russia’s new anti-gay laws. The letter was posted on GLADD’s website.

“Thank you for your kind invitation. As someone who has enjoyed visiting Russia in the past and can also claim a degree of Russian ancestry, it would make me happy to say yes,” the 41-year-old wrote. “However, as a gay man, I must decline.”

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Miller went on to say that he is “deeply troubled” by the Russian government’s treatment of gay men and women. Calling the situation unacceptable, he said he “cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country” where gay people are “systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly.”

Miller ended his letter, “Perhaps, when and if circumstances improve, I’ll be free to make a different choice.”

In June, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a law that would impose fines on people accused of promoting “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations.” Sports minister said that, while the law doesn’t ban gay athletes from participating in the 2014 Olympics, “if he goes out into the streets and starts to propagandize, then of course he will be held accountable.”

Next year’s Winter Olympics will be held in Sochi, Russia, and people outraged by the law have threatened to boycott and protest the games.

GLAAD spokesman Wilson Cruz commended Wentworth Miller for his decision.

“Wentworth’s bold show of support sends a powerful message to LGBT Russians, who are facing extreme violence and persecution,” Cruz said. “As people from across the globe continue to speak out against Russia’s horrific law, more celebrities and corporations should follow his courageous lead in openly condemning Russia’s anti-LGBT law.”

Are you surprised that Wentworth Miller is gay? What do you think of his refusal to attend the St. Petersburg International Film Festival?

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