Sir Ian McKellan commented on the current climate of the Winter Olympics situation: “It’s a dreadful situation and it’s the worst thing to have come out of Russia for a very, very long time,” he said during a press conference at New York’s Sardi’s Restaurant on September 24.
“The Olympics is a very special event and the people involved, of course, probably the climax of their lives. If we were to not hold the games because of the internal politics of the country in question, the problem is they would never take place… As a gay man it is absolutely appalling that this law has been passed which would inhibit me and any gay athletes that would go to Russia to be simply themselves.”
Known for starring in the X-Men and Lord of the Rings films, Mckellan was in New York to promote his two Broadway plays, No Man’s Land and Waiting for Godot.
On June 30, Russia approved several anti-LGBT laws, including banning any form of “homosexual propaganda,” effectively outlawing pride parades, and restricting which nations prospective adoptive parents could be from. Believing that the laws are enforced to protect the youth and instill Catholic Orthodox values, several lawmakers want to remove the parental rights of LGBT citizens, even advocating whipping them in public squares. Russia’s laws conflict with the international events like the Winter Olympics, Miss Universe and the American Kennel club.
“I think what would be wonderful is if all the athletes, gay and straight, and the Olympic authorities were to make clear that they absolutely disapprove of it and they are going to ignore it, not because they don’t care but because the spirit of the Olympics must take precedence,” McKellan concluded.