House actor stirs Russian anger with call for vodka boycott

British actor Hugh Laurie, who has more than 300 000 followers on Twitter, wrote on Saturday: "I'd boycott Russian goods if I could think of a single thing they made besides the rest of the world depressed." 

He then added: "Russian vodka is OK if you need to clean the oven. For drinking, it must henceforth be Polish."

Laurie said he was reacting after reading Putin's comments on Friday that gay people should "leave children alone".

Russia has controversially banned homosexual "propaganda" to minors.

Laurie, who is best known as the brilliant but antisocial doctor Gregory House from hit TV series House, is very popular in Russia.

He swiftly retracted the comments, instead urging "good, kind Russians to stand up to the slab-faced goons who deal in this kind of poison".

Hot topic
But his boycott suggestion became one of the most discussed topics on Russian-language Twitter.

"I want to officially send Hugh Laurie to hell along with his opinion of our goods and his plans to boycott them," wrote popular blogger Ilya Varlamov.

"Hugh called for a boycott of all goods produced in Russia, in passing insulting one of the main brands of our country, Russian vodka," sports journalist Stepan Chaushyan wrote on the website of the Argumenty i Fakty mass-circulation weekly.

"Hugh forgot one thing: Russian money could very easily boycott him," he added, pointing out that Laurie has given several blues concerts in Russia.

"That's right, go ahead and boycott us, but you'll have to start with gas, not vodka," wrote one commentator, Savva Mirosh, on the website of state television channel NTV.

In New York last summer, demonstrators poured vodka down drains to protest against Russia's law banning gay propaganda.

Laurie's outburst won praise from gay rights supporters.

"With what irony and how correctly he noted everything. Thank you, Hugh," wrote Matvei Alexandrov on the Gay.ru website.

Laurie's former comedy partner in the series Jeeves and Wooster, Stephen Fry, who is openly gay, has criticised the antigay law and backed a boycott of the Winter Olympics starting in the Russian resort city of Sochi on February 7. – Sapa-AFP

Sapa Afp
Guest Author
Advertisting

Unfinished business: We need self-examination to heal from apartheid

Physical and psychological violence will continue unless we self-reflect on our apartheid scars

Coronavirus: South Africa will evacuate citizens from Wuhan

The government is expected to evacuate citizens from Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak originated

Primedia CEO Essack leaves following internal battles

Omar Essack leaves the 702 and 94.7 owners after a protracted standoff with the board

‘We’re satisfied with SA’s land reform policy’— US Ambassador

Top US official is lobbying multinational firms to invest in South Africa

Press Releases

Over R400-m given to businesses since launch of three-minute overdraft

The 3-minute overdraft radically reduces the time it takes for businesses to have their working capital needs met

Tourism can push Africa onto a new path – minister

The continent is fast becoming a dynamic sought-after tourist destination

South Africa’s education system is broken and unequal, and must be fixed without further delay

The Amnesty International report found that the South African government continues to miss its own education upgrading targets

Business travel industry generates billions

Meetings Africa is ready to take advantage of this lucrative opportunity

Conferences connect people to ideas

The World Expo and Meetings Africa are all about stimulating innovation – and income

SAB Zenzele Kabili B-BBEE share scheme

New scheme to be launched following the biggest B-BBEE FMCG payout in South Africa’s history

Digging deep

Automation is unstoppable, but if we're strategic about its implementation, it presents major opportunities

TFSAs are the gymnasts of the retirement savings world

The idea is to get South Africans to save, but it's best to do your research first to find out if a TFSA is really suited to your needs