Ahead of hosting the world’s $51 billion sports party, Russia has been taking some understandable flack for its classification of homosexuality as “a mental illness,” and the government’s recent passing of an anti-gay propaganda law. This state of affairs has forced President Vladimir Putin to declare that visitors and athletes at the Sochi Games should “feel free in your relationships” but…uh, “leave children in peace.” Statements like that aren’t exactly putting rights groups’ worries at ease, and now they’re pushing back.
The Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion (CIDI) now joins others in creatively condemning Russia’s record on LGBT rights with this new spot by agency Rethink Canada. Here we see a two-man luge team engage in a customary starting movement, to the tune of Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me.” While there’s nothing necessarily gay about it, let’s just say it might make Mr. Putin uncomfortable if he saw it on Sesame Street.
In a statement, CIDI founder and CEO Michael Bach said, “The discrimination in Russia is unacceptable. As an organization, we want to show our support, especially for the athletes competing at the Olympics in Sochi.”
Rethink creative director Aaron Starkman says the idea came to him and fellow creatives Mike Dubrick and Joel Holtby when they weren’t seeing a whole lot of outrage in their social feeds as the Games were getting set to start. “We figured our Facebook newsfeeds would be going nuts over this stuff but it just wasn’t so we wanted to do something,” he says. “All three of us are heterosexual so the first thing we did was show it to our gay co-workers, who laughed and thought it was right on point.”
No word if any actual lugers were consulted.