U2 Accused by Russian Government of Spreading Gay Propaganda
In news that will no doubt trigger a flood of jokes better suited to the locker room after an eighth-grade gym class, a Russian government official is accusing U2 of spreading gay propaganda with its Songs of Innocence LP — and threatening a lawsuit in retaliation.
Consequence of Sound reports that Alexander Starovoitov, a member of the conservative LDPR party, has asked Russia's attorney general to open an investigation against Apple on the grounds that when the company gave a free digital copy of Innocence to each of its iTunes account holders, it was guilty of "distributing illegal gay propaganda to minors."
At issue is the Songs of Innocence album cover, which depicts U2 drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. in a shirtless embrace with his teenaged son Elvis, none of which is particularly gay, unless you're talking about something happy — and in any event, the version of the record that ended up in iTunes users' libraries didn't even have that cover.
This doesn't seem to matter much to Starovoitov, who's enlisted a lawyer to build a case for "moral damages" against the tech giant. It all might sound a little ridiculous to readers in the Western world, but rock fans are likely well aware of the dismal state of gay rights in Russia, and there's really no telling how this will play out. Ultimately, according to the report, Apple could be forced to pay the equivalent of $20,000 and cease business operations in Russia for 90 days if the case proceeds and they're found guilty.
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