Stephen Fry Talks LGBT Rights, Russian Dolls and Annoying Putin

February 11, 2014 | Marina Galperina

In December, Mother London, the sister company of ANIMAL’s parent company, produced some limited edition Russian nesting dolls of British gay icons and sent them to the Kremlin. They were a big hit. When the actor, writer and activist Stephen Fry was asked to sign the charity dolls, we asked if we could tag along and use the opportunity to talk about LGBT rights in Russia.

“There is something sick and wrong with people who are obsessed with trying to suppress the rights, freedom and happiness of LGBT people,” Stephen Fry told ANIMAL, backstage at the Belasco Theater in Manhattan before he took the stage for Twelfth Night – Richard III.

Mr. Fry had visited Russia for his docu-series Out There. He even brilliantly confronted deputy and priest-in-training Vitaly Milonov, the principle sponsor of Russia’s “gay propaganda law,” which outlaws any public speech or open display making homosexuality appear “socially equal” to “traditional relations.” With the violence, discrimination and abuses faced by LGBT in Russia, we were glad to get some words of inspiration from the activist thespian.

“Any savage recordable injustice should be sent around the world, for the world to see,” Stephen Fry said. “It should become the question that Putin is so annoyed with, and bored by this being the issue, that he lets up on it. Meanwhile I can do nothing but admire the courage of all of you who are able to gather and stand up for who you are.”

(Video: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork, Producer: Catherine Nickson)