by Dan Savage
on Thu, Jul 25, 2013 at 1:22 PM
The CEO of Stolichnaya Vodka released an open letter to the gay community today—so they're paying attention, which is good, and they're scared, which is even better. The letter:
For the record: Regardless of where SPI Group's corporate offices are located, the company is owned by Yuri Scheffler, one of the 100 richest men in Russia. SPI is a Russian corporation, Stoli is a Russian vodka. And while it's nice that SPI is willing to market to homos who are lucky enough to live in Austria, the US, and South Africa, what has SPI done in Russia? The group has sponsored gay pride events in Vienna and Miami. That's nice. But have they sponsored gay pride events in Moscow or St. Petersburg? Val says that Stoli is upset and angry. That's nice. So has Stoli said anything to the Russian authorities? Has Yuri Scheffler expressed his anger in an open letter to Vladimir Putin? Did the SPI Group speak the fuck up before the Russian government passed a law that made it a crime to be openly gay and a crime to publicly support someone who is openly gay? Frankly I'm not interested in Stoli's marketing efforts in the West. I'm interested in what this Russian-owned company is doing in Russia. And from this letter it's clear they've done and they only plan on doing squat.
Two commenters at JMG cut to the heart of the matter:
I guess the paragraph about how Stoli is going work toward demanding that the Russian Government end discrimination went missing.
Dear Russian Oligarch: You and your friends control your nation via your fortune and connections. Fix this or GTFO.
But this comment at JMG wins the thread:
So is the CEO of Stoli now subject to arrest and incarceration in Russia for writing this pro-gay letter?