Cher Turned Down Invitation To Perform At Sochi Winter Olympics

CherI can’t name names but my friend called who is a big oligarch over there, and asked me if I’d like to be an ambassador for the Olympics and open the show. I immediately said no. I want to know why all of this gay hate just exploded over there. He said the Russian people don’t feel the way the government does.”


— The eternally amazing icon Cher, answering a question about the violence toward LGBT people in Russia during an interview with Macleans

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  • Cam

    Thank you Cher!

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Right on. Another refusal to be a Sochiopath. Thanks.

  • fagburn

    “I immediately said no” – shame Cher didn’t stop and think about it.

    Could have been such a wonderful positive thing if she was there…

  • Stache1

    @fagburn: Yeah, her and Johnny Weir. What point could she make? She can’t say anything in support. It’s against the Law. Everyone should just boycott this mess.

  • fagburn

    @Stache1: Do you not think it might have been an idea to find out what Russian LGBT campaingers think would be best?

  • 2eo

    @Stache1: Agreed, I wouldn’t worry about what @fagburn: thinks. He also thinks Morrissey is a hero, so that tells you what his opinion is worth.

  • fagburn

    @2eo: I trust that last bit was ironic…

  • doug105

    @fagburn: @Stache1: Die you you crazy a hole and Jonny wier is a self serving just like your self

  • doug105

    ok how di ahole get lost ?

  • myklet

    Cher would never turn her back on many of her fans! She is for equality for everyone. I think having the Olympics in Russia is a huge mistake…….and an insult.

  • Cam


    Yes by all means, gay supporters should go perform and give support to an anti-gay regime. And them maybe Cher can also go and perform in countries where women are arrested if they report a rape, and maybe Beyonce can find a time machine and go back in time to South Africa during aparteid and perform there etc…

    In other words, to put it kindly, your comment is ridiculous.

  • fagburn

    @Cam: Again, would it not be worthwhile to ask LGBT campaigners in Russia what they think?

  • Samuel

    HOORAY for Cher!
    The Russia Olympics should be boycotted by the entire WORLD!!!!!

  • mattsy

    she looks so careworn in that pic

  • Snapper59

    I have a hard time believing it, as host countries don’t go importing pop stars from other countries for the opening ceremonies – but say it’s true: why not go and give them HELL, Cher? A platform like that? Being there and protesting would have a little more of an effect than your twitter.

  • Matt G

    she may be Cher, but can you imagine Cher in the gulag? Bob Mackey prison official werkwear

    How is a Cher performance NOT promotion of homosexuality??

  • fagburn

    @Snapper59: Agreed – interesting Cher doesn’t name the name of her oligarchic friend who is apparently booking acts for the opening ceremony.
    Does he exist?

  • DickGreenleaf

    Now if only Queerty would stop promoting Stoli.

  • Kieran

    She could have sang “Born this Way” while waving a large gay flag.

  • Rev_Jeff

    I am so confused by the postings here. So, no one group of effect is 100% clear on whether or not the Olympics should be boycotted but the US opinions, queer athletes included, strongly suggest a motion to participate. That is a fact.

    I have to agree that Cher should have thought about it and decided if she could have shown support for the LGBT community in some way and definitely shown US support while there. Can anyone on really tell me what the intricacies of the law are when concerning what forms of expression may or may not land a foreign performer in the gulag?

    The Russian LGBT community would benefit more if athletes and performers descend upon the country and publicly express their distaste of the policies. Think about having supporters on your soil! Coming to your country at the height of your oppression! What would have happened if MLK jr never left Atlanta for Selma? Granted, that example is one of a US citizen protest, but y’all get the point. If we have the opportunity and means to defy an unjust government, shouldn’t we? An Olympic protest could be portrayed by Putin as passive abandonment or who knows how it could be spun in Russia.

    Again, there must be tactful ways to do that without the threat of imprisonment. Or why not just take the risk? Cher has nothing to lose but a little time, botox updates, and root coloring (just my speculations). Also, unless you have trained to be an Olympian, can you really understand the importance of the competition? I can’t but I personally would love to make the Russian government suffer painfully for their policies.

    This is an interesting argument for the US to just leave the whole Olympics behind.

  • balehead

    I call “BS” on this…..

  • AndrewIB

    Good for Cher..the cold would wreak havoc with her skin to stay away.

  • Polaro

    Cher got it exactly right. This is not a once of a lifetime event for Cher like it is for many of the athletes. It would be just another gig. All entertainers should stay away. And every sponsor should be trying to find a way out of their contracts.

  • balehead

    Cher’s just jumping on the gay media hysteria wagon…she does have an album to promote you know….

  • Cam


    Nice attempt to not respond to my comment.

    You trolls are fun to watch.

    @Rev Jeff #20 you said. “I am so confused by the postings here. So, no one group of effect is 100% clear on whether or not the Olympics should be boycotted but the US opinions, queer athletes included, strongly suggest a motion to participate. That is a fact.”


    No, actually that is a lie. If it was “Fact” then you wouldn’t have the IOC and corporations panicking over the boycott push. But again, if you need to lie to make your point..please, by all means don’t let the truth hold you back.

  • fagburn

    @Cam: I think Rev_Jeff gave a good response to your comment; “What would have happened if MLK jr never left Atlanta for Selma?”

    I’m not sure why you call me a “troll”, when I’ve simply asked what is quite an obvious and rudimentary question.

    I’ll ask it for the third time, anyway…

    Why do you ignore the Russian LGBT campaigners who have said they don’t want any kind of boycott of the Sochi Olympics?

    I’m glad people are angry about what’s happening in Russia now, and that they want to protest and show solidarity, but surely real solidarity begins with people like us in the US and Uk listening to what gay people in Russia believe would be the most effective strategy?

  • Fitz

    One of the things about being Cher is that she doesn’t need the promotion, she doesn’t need the money, she can do what she wants. Or not. That she turned it down, and went public with it shows something bigger than just her amazing support for LGBT people.. it shows that she gets the political implications of validating Russia right now. Interestingly, she also turned down the 1939 ones in Berlin, so she is consistent!

  • hephaestion

    Cher has a friend who is a Russian Oligarch??? I wonder who that is?

  • Cam

    @fagburn: said…

    ““What would have happened if MLK jr never left Atlanta for Selma?”

    Your comment is idiotic unless you believe that Cher is going to lead hundreds of thousands of marchers around Russia.

    As to your comment about “Russian LGBT Activists” not wanting this boycott I have two issues.

    1. You never link to any stories stating that the majority of them don’t want it


    2. This is also about the U.S. offering support to the behavior of another country. Going there, pouring money into Russia when they are doing this would show that the U.S. is Tacitly supporting it.

    What you haven’t shown so far, is how discussion of a boycott is harmful. Why are you SO opposed to it? You obviously have an agenda because if Boycotts don’t work etc… you shouldn’t be so upset.

  • john

    Thank you Cher, you are an example for all of us, carry on!!!

  • fagburn

    @Cam: From Russian LGBT Network

    “The Russian LGBT Network applauds the actions of individuals and organisations who address the escalating official and societal homophobia in Russia, and we are with them in the commitment to the protection of the rights and freedoms of LGBT people and allies. Numerous initiatives in regards the 2014 Winter Olympics are successfully garnering support worldwide, with the centrepiece of the debate being the pro- / counter-boycott considerations. We would like to join the momentum and share our vision.

    “While we value diversity in approaches and welcome all efforts that forward justice and equality, we will contribute the work of the LGBT Network to the promotion of proactive participation in the Games instead of a boycott.

    “We believe that calls for the spectators to boycott Sochi, for the Olympians to retreat from competition, and for governments, companies, and national Olympic committees to withdraw from the event risk to transform the powerful potential of the Games in a less powerful gesture that would prevent the rest of the world from joining LGBT people, their families and allies in Russia in solidarity and taking a firm stance against the disgraceful human rights record in this country.

    “In retrospect, the record of the Olympic boycotts is not utterly promising in regards the potential to bring a change; look at the 1980 boycott of the Moscow Olympics, the 1984 ‘retaliation’ boycott of the LA Games, or at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. What is remembered from 1968 is neither the number nor the names of those who boycotted the Games, but the ‘human rights salute’ by Tommie Smith and John Carlos who rose black-gloved fists and bowed their heads on the victory stand as a sign of resistance to racial injustice and solidarity with everyone who fought for equality and human rights.

    “The Olympic Games are a unique and powerful occasion for individuals, organisations, diplomatic missions, and governments to come together and voice, in tune with the Olympic ideals, the ideas of human rights, freedoms, equality and justice – regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

    “Participation and attendance of the Games in Sochi will not indicate endorsement of injustice and discrimination; they will only if they are silent. We hope to join forces and succeed in raising everyone’s voices for LGBT equality in Russia and elsewhere. We hope that together with those who share this vision, we will succeed in sending the strongest message possible by involving athletes, diplomats, sponsors, and spectators to show up and speak up, proclaiming equality in most compelling ways.”

    PS Can you now quote one LGBT Russian group that supports a boycott.

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