Actor and screenwriter Wentowrth Miller, best known for his role on the Fox series “Prison Break,” came out as gay on Wednesday in an open letter in which he declined an invitation to be a guest of honor at the St. Petersburg International Film Festival in Russia.
Citing Russia’s recently enacted anti-gay “propaganda” law, Miller, 41, said he “cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly.”
In a letter to festival director Maria Averbakh, and published by GLAAD, Miller, writes:
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.
However, as a gay man, I must decline. I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government.
The situation is in no way acceptable, and I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly.
Perhaps, when and if circumstances improve, I’ll be free to make a different choice.
“Wentworth’s bold show of support sends a powerful message to LGBT Russians, who are facing extreme violence and persecution: you are not alone,” said GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz.
“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,” added Cruz.