For focusing media attention on the violence and intimidation faced by LGBT Russians, ABC World News Tonight earns the GLAAD Gold Medal for LGBT inclusive coverage of the Olympics.
In a segment aired last night, World News Tonight talked to LGBT Russians, as well as those who target and attack them. They showed the nightclub in Moscow that has been the scene of several violent attacks. They also recorded some chilling statements from those who monitor LGBT people, calling for them to be "stoned to death."
This is the most extensive reporting on the violence faced by LGBT Russians by a mainstream US outlet. Great Britain's Channel 4 presented an excelled documentary entitled "Hunted," but that has not been aired in the US.
With this report, ABC has done the work of talking to LGBT Russians where they are. Too many media outlets covering Russia and the Olympics have been asking what LGBT activists are protesting in Sochi. The reality is that LGBT activists are not going to Sochi and the attacks and arrests are happening elsewhere in the country.
"If media outlets want to cover the story of LGBT Russians during the Olympics, they will need to follow ABC's lead and look outside of Sochi to the dangerous conditions that everyday LGBT people are facing," said Wilson Cruz, GLAAD's National Spokesperson. "Russia is putting on a show in Sochi during these Olympics, but make no mistake that outside of Sochi, right now, LGBT Russians are suffering and experiencing abuse and the media had a responsibility to tell that story."