QUESTION: Should Thomas Roberts Host The Miss Universe Pageant In Anti-Gay Russia?


When Andy Cohen dropped out of hosting the Miss Universe pageant in Russia, he left a huge void, which was then filled by fellow gay, MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts.

Roberts defended his motives and apparent support of Russia — which has come under fire for a series of anti-gay legislation and violence in the lead-up to the 2014 Sochi Olympics — by noting what a “huge visible opportunity” the gig is, adding that he’s going to “prove there’s hope.”

Some members of the LGBT community have been highly critical both of Roberts and of parent company NBC Universal for replacing one gay with another in hopes of deflecting the negative spotlight on Russia’s increasingly homophobic climate.

Whether the reason is giving hope, collecting a paycheck, or something in between, the question remains:

Is Thomas Roberts right to host the Miss Universe Pageant in anti-gay Russia?

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  • 2eo

    Odd I beat Fagburn and his usual “Allegedly….” posts about the pogroms against us in Russia. We should have learnt by now that we are as bad as holocaust deniers, his own words on his blog for speaking out against Russia.

    The right, moral and only answer with integrity is of course not, much like the stupid question about LGBT PR last week, which also only had one actual answer.

  • Fitz

    You’ve already put this before the Queerty crowd, and we know how most of the people here think: he is attractive, so it’s ok. Personally, I find him to be a disgusting uncle Tom and I hope awful things happen to him. Filthy Kappo scum.

  • ouragannyc

    I disagree with his decision to be the host MU.
    I understand the reasoning for athletes to want to go to Sochi, since they’ve been preparing for it all their lives.
    But MU is an annual beauty peagent and Mr. Roberts is not competing.

  • 2eo

    @Fitz: A part of me agrees that these toadying sycophants are only of use to our community as a statistic in the deceased column.

    Their work against humanity is the only thing that will be remembered in the long run, and when we get what is just we will not forget, or forgive.

  • jwrappaport

    Another shameless opportunist. How does anything he does prove there’s hope for Russian gays? Like Sochi, all it shows them is that there’s hope if you’re rich, famous, or not a Russian citizen.

  • Cam

    Yeah, and Jennifer Lopez used the same type of B.S. to defend performing for former the Libyan dictator.

    Look, this guy is just like Elton John. He was handed a check to he dropped his pants for them.

  • Dev.C

    He should go if he wants to get shot or kidnapped, which Obama does not need right now, he already has a house of screaming children to babysit, He doesn’t need a reason to converse with a contrary child like Putin.

  • Spike

    If he needs the money/publicity, who are we to judge. If he doesn’t, then he clearly has no moral center and a complete hypocrite if he ever claims to support gay civil rights.

  • Snapper59

    Yes GO!
    I’ve never liked him so I want to see him enhance his newsy “resume” by asking Miss Ubequistan with a straight face “How would YOU combat global warming?”

  • Snapper59

    Didn’t Walter Cronkite start out like that?

  • Dxley

    He’s hot, gay married and has GAY SEX, and I say f*uck yeah! Let him go. Anything to piss off those Russians – Haters gonna hate! Have an awesome time representing the G&L community, Thomas. We all need money and great resumes. This just goes to show that you can’t please people. Let ’em talk!

  • sportsguy1983

    Who cares. He is a self important, pompous ass. He is doing it for his publicity and to advance his career.

  • Cam


    Wow, so basically he should go and be a smiling step and fetch-it to entertain people in a country that is literally slaughtering gays.

    You may want to rethink.

  • Larry

    It is just disgusting the name calling in here! Since when do you get to decide what someone does? You have a right to your opinion but calling people asses and hoping they get hurt somehow is just horrid and it shows how shallow and ignorant you are. We need to be an example of how we are just like every other human. We need to understand and explore other people in order to show them we are just like they are and deserve the same treatment and protection under the law. When Thomas goes there and does a great job, as I know he will, that alone shows the law makers and people of Russia that gay people deserve equality.

  • deltabadhand

    He can do whatever he wants, but he better be ready to deal with the consequences. I think many gay folks had a lot of respect for him previously, but this action changes everything. I wrote him and told him he’d lost my respect. I took what little direct action I could by un following him and now I wont watch his show anymore… too bad. I wonder what Rachel Maddow thinks about him…

  • Lindoro Almaviva

    Oh sweet Jesus!

    So we do not like it when the religious right tells us how to live our lives, who to love and how to form families but somehow we feel it is our right to tell Roberts how to live HIS life, right? The hypocrisy of it all.

    There was no issue when Tilda Swinton stood in front of the Kremlin with a gay flag. There was no issue when Madonna performed in Russia either, so what exactly is the issue right now?

    He owes no one an explanation, yet he gave one; and a good one: Right now, Russian gays need someone to BE visible for them, since they themselves can not be visible. If there is anything that Russian gays need right now is for people to come there and create international embarrassment for the Russian Government. What are they going to do? Piss off Trump and embarrass the country by creating a scene over Roberts?

    Russian gays need people to go there and challenge the law. Ideally, It should be the ambassadors from every country in Europe the ones challenging the law. It should be diplomats and Prime ministers and law makers, who risk arrest and create an international situation for the Russian Government. While we wait for those politicians to grow a set of balls, it is celebrities like Roberts that, because of their fame, will generate the attention and create tension in the government.

  • Fitz

    Larry, I don’t agree. What he is doing has bigger consequences that just for him and his pocket book. He is legitimizing the current politics, and helping them bring in a lot of money. In other words, he is bad for my people. Yes, he is large and handsome, and for those reasons a lot of you will think that whatever he does shines. IMO, people like him help Russian officials not feel the sting of public condemnation. This really is an example of “your either with us or against us”.

  • 2eo

    @Fitz: Why is it [nearly, brent and BJ are exceptions] always people with either 1 or very few comments who make these stupid posts.

    I wonder if like on Twitter and Facebook, the PR companies who work for the people in question are indexing sites looking for the name and jumping into defence mode of their client. A lot of similar comments always crop up within maybe 3 hours….

    Funnily enough the time it takes to run a spider bot looking for particular text strings through Google API’s.

  • Fitz

    hmmm…. so, I’m really not hip on technology issues, but I get your point. I bet you are right. Professional “tipping point” fire starters. Well… sadly, it often works. This current douchebag kappo is so obviously a pig that it’d mostly not working– but I can see the effort.

  • Rockery

    If he wants to prostitute himself out and try and justify it go ahead. We’ve all done shameful things for money before…

  • haroldhughes

    The only way this’ll do any good is if he gets himself arrested over there. Otherwise, he’s an opportunitic attention whore.

  • haroldhughes

    The only way this’ll do any good is if he gets himself arrested over there. Otherwise, he’s an opportunistic attention whore.

  • Fitz

    If he were honest about that, I would probably be a lot less upset with him. If he said “look, money is tight, I’ve taken my career as far as it can go based on looks, and I need to make a buck” I would respect him a little more.

  • dbmyers

    @deltabadhand: I will reserve judgement until I see what he does and says while he’s hosting. I think if he takes this gig with the rationalization that he is helping Russians to realize that gays can be successful people and to give hope to gay Russians than he has a duty to make a statement during the program telling the world what he thinks of the new Russian law and Russian homophobia. If he does that then he has proven his worthyness as a LGBTQ representative, if not, he is just a big-talking opportunist.

  • MarkAtl

    I am surprised to find that no one has mentioned (unless I missed it) how absurd it is that any professional news anchor would host a beauty pageant. So he is going to Russia to protest the oppression of LGBTs by hosting a pageant that demeans women?? Can’t he go there on a less ridiculous mission? Maybe he’s attracted by the camp value of a pageant. While I know that protesting beauty pageants is a bit old school, I am surprised that there is not as much outrage about that as there is about the homo hate. I know that it is more appropriate to this website to discuss the LGBT factor, but still…

  • Skooter McGoo

    Roberts is Donald Trump’s whore for $$$. No longer will I listen to anything he has to say. Enjoy your luxury vacation to Russia while gay people are beaten and killed daily while you lounge by the pool. Hypocrite Kappo

  • Cam

    @Lindoro Almaviva: said…

    “Oh sweet Jesus!

    So we do not like it when the religious right tells us how to live our lives, who to love and how to form families but somehow we feel it is our right to tell Roberts how to live HIS life, right? The hypocrisy of it all.”

    The false equivalency in your comment should be embarrassing to you.

    1. The religious right isn’t telling us how to live. They are trying to pass laws preventing us from doing this.

    2. You are trying to say that somebody working for and catering to people who have supporting the arrest and torture of gays is something that gays may not have an opinion about. Nice try.

    So what you are basically saying is that gays cannot have an opinion about anybody who wants to do us harm. I would think that you troll accounts would have figured out something smarter to say by now, but I guess not.

  • Dxley

    I can’t believe we’re still on this. Leave Roberts alone. It’s not his fault that Russians are killing gay people and there’s nothing wrong with him making money. Gosh!!! Him and his husband have to eat, they have bills to pay and I know he’s going to do a very good job – I know that. Do you people always have to make such a fuss of everything? I know and understand that you’d probably hate “entertaining” the Russians because they’re killing our people but Thonas alone can’t do anything about it. Leave the man alone – he’s amazing!

  • MK Ultra

    Just admit that you’re doing it for the $$$.
    The insulting part is these trashy western celebrities calling themselves “courageous, altruistic, brave…
    Their self centered presence will lead to more violence towards Russian LGBT.
    So go spit on Russian gays because you get some $$$, but don’t do tell the rest of us what a “hero” you are.

  • LadyL

    I can’t put this one together.
    Thomas Roberts is a news guy, right…? Who presumably wants to be respected as a news guy, right? Then why would he even consider hosting a beauty pageant regardless of where it’s held? I can see Andy Cohen doing it–for so many reasons–but Thomas Roberts???
    I’m not trying to be snarky–I just don’t see it. In what way would he be raising LGBT visibility in Russia? Is he planning on coming out during the show? Won’t Russian authorities be watching for that and censoring the broadcast?

  • Bumper

    Thomas is so good looking, I can’t even gather myself. Guffaw. What are we talking about?

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