|Moscow, Russia will be the host of Miss Universe 2013 on November 9|
The Donald Trump-owned company released a statement today asserting that while it is “deeply concerned by the laws recently enacted in Russia” as well as the “violence experienced by the LGBT community,” it will continue to prepare for its contest in Moscow, set for November 9. Miss Universe officials believe the pageant's presence and will “help foster a common understanding and appreciation of the rights of all individuals.”
|Andy Cohen will not host Miss Universe |
this year as he fears for his safety in Russia
Paula Shugart, the president of the Miss Universe Organization, contacted The Advocate directly to reiterate this statement and stress that the show's broadcast will help shine a world spotlight on these injustices.
|Paula Shugart: There's a lot of opportunities here.|
“We have very, very close ties to the LGBT communities,” she added. “And I want to make sure that you’re aware of that and everyone’s aware of that. And that’s not something we would turn our back on.”
Shugart noted that Elton John would be also performing in Moscow at the same venue, Crocus City Hall, on December 6.
The remarks come in the wake of comments from Andy Cohen, who cohosted the pageant the past two years. The Bravo executive and star told E! News that he would not participate in the Miss Universe competition this year since Russia’s “discriminatory policies make it unsafe for the gays who live there and gays coming to work or visit."
"The law is that anyone under suspicion of homosexuality can be arrested," he said, adding that he "didn't feel right as a gay man stepping foot into Russia." (The new national law, similar to those enacted in some Russian cities, outlaws discussions of LGBT issues and identities that might be accessible to minors, and is so broad and vague as to pose great danger to LGBT people, activists say.)
|Olivia Culpo, Miss Universe 2012, will crown her successor on|
November 9 at the Crocus Hall in Moscow