A group of 19 LGBT organizations have written a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook requesting that the company halt business with Russia’s largest mobile phone distributor, Euroset, because of creative director Ivan Okhlobystin’s vocal anti-gay sentiments.
Okhlobystin, who is also a popular Russian actor, said in December, “I’d burn them all [gay people]alive in ovens,” as reported by Buzzfeed. “It’s Sodom and Gomorrah, as a religious person I can’t be indifferent to it, it’s a living threat to my children.”
Full letter below.
“Knowing and highly appreciating Apple’s support for LGBT rights and equality, we wanted to point out that the Euroset’s creative director, Mr. Ivan Okhlobystin, is currently conducting an anti-gay campaign in Russia, suggesting, in particular, to ‘shove all live gays into a furnace,’” the letter stated.
The letter continued, pointing out that Okhlobystin’s sentiments are being supported and published by the Kremlin party and are, “adding additional fuel to the rampant homophobic campaign that already resulted in at least 26 murders and countless hate crimes against Russian LGBT population.”
Euroset head, Alexander Malis, neglected to respond to the letter and instead told Russian news outlet CNews that, “we do not insult gay people and we are not to blame for them having been wronged. We serve all people the same way, and are, in principle, against discrimination.”
Euroset has refused to remove Okhlobystin from his position with the company, stating that he was entitled to his personal opinions.
However, they are “opposed to burning someone in ovens.”