The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is requesting that NBCUniversal report on Russia’s “inhumane and unjust” laws agaisnt the LGBT community. HRC president, Chad Griffin, wrote a letter to the network, pleading that they “expose” Russian president Vladimir Putin’s anti-LGBT laws during T.V. coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
“NBCUniversal, which has the exclusive rights to broadcast the Olympics in the United States, has a unique opportunity — and a responsibility — to expose this inhumane and unjust law to the millions of American viewers who will tune in to watch the Games,” Griffin wrote in a letter to NBC’s CEO Stephen Burke.
“The law functionally criminalizes even the most modest gesture of support for the dignity and humanity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people,” Griffin stated.
Recently, Russia implemented several anti-LGBT laws that would prohibit any “homosexual propaganda” as well as outlaw pride parades and foreign LGBT couples from adopting Russian children.
“The law contains a provision that allows the Russian government to arrest and detain foreigners for up to 14 days for supporting LGBT equality,” Griffin wrote.
Outlawed LGBT gestures include, public displays of affection, using social media to broadcast positive messages about the LGBT community, comparing homosexual relationships to heterosexual ones, or for wearing any symbol of LGBT equality.
President Putin stressed that the laws aren’t LGBT discriminatory but instill Catholic Orthodox values, protecting the youth, and maintaining order.
For coverage of the upcoming 2014 Winter Games, NBC paid the $775 million to the Olympic Committee, as stated in a NBC released statement, according to the Washington Post.
“NBC is scheduled to give a presentation on the Winter Games to a room full of TV critics and reporters on Saturday at the Summer TV Press Tour 2013. NBCUniversal strongly supports equal rights and the fair treatment for all people. The spirit of the Olympic Games is about unifying people and countries through the celebration of sport and it is our hope that spirit will prevail,” read the NBC statement.
NBC’s long-term contract with the Olympic Committee will cost them $4.38 billion.
“If you look down the road, I do think it is going to be a problem for NBCUniversal,” HRC’s Vice President of Communications and Marketing Fred Sainz said in an interview with Variety. “I think their broadcast is going to have to have some kind of advocacy on this.”