The Prison Break star, 41, took a stand against Russia’s recent anti-LGBT legislation on Wednesday by refusing to attend the St. Petersburg International Film Festival and opened up about his sexuality for the first time.
In a letter to the festival’s organisers, that was also posted on gay rights organisation GLAAD’s website, the British-born actor said he could not “in good conscience” attend the event because of the country’s stance.
The actor wrote: “Thank you for your kind invitation. As someone who has enjoyed visiting Russia in the past and can also claim a degree of Russian ancestry, it would make me happy to say yes. However, as a gay man, I must decline.
“I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government. The situation is in no way acceptable, and I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly.
“Perhaps, when and if circumstances improve. I’ll be free to make a different choice. Until then.”