It is illegal to share an image of Putin with makeup that implies that he’s gay
Last week Russia formally added a specific image of Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin wearing makeup to its ever-expanding list of banned extremist materials. Since the image is now prohibited and they can’t publish it or share it, Russian media isn’t exactly sure which gay Putin makeup meme the government has banned. For safe measure we’ll include a few different ones of gay Putin all done up.
In the banned pic, Putin has red lips and painted eyelashes, with a suggestive caption that reads, “They say there are many of them, but there aren’t any among the people I know.”
Russia said that this image constitutes “extremism.” In America we call images like this satire and they are protected under Freedom of Speech in the First Amendment.
The specific ban is Item 4071: a picture of a Putin-like person “with eyes and lips made up,” captioned with an implicit anti-gay slur, implying “the supposed nonstandard sexual orientation of the president of the Russian Federation.”
The Moscow Times believes the banned extreme image looks something like this:
The above poster was popularized in 2013, after Russia passed a law banning talking about “nontraditional sexual relations” to children. Gay protesters were beaten and arrested. If a person shares the extreme image of gay Putin in drag, they would be sentenced to compulsory psychiatric care according to the Moscow Times.
Maybe this is the banned image? Looks like they photoshopped a Pierre & Gilles Painting
В РФ признали экстремистским плакат с накрашенными Путиным и Медведевым https://t.co/HhJvROd6Bl
— Gordonua.com (@Gordonuacom) April 5, 2017
Putin claims he isn’t bothered by the pretty pic.
A spokesman from the Kremlin told Russia’s state-run news service, Tass, that he hadn’t seen the gay Putin-in-drag pic, but he’s sure it didn’t bother thick-skinned Putin. So not bothered that they had to ban an image!
“Kremlin says Putin skilled at brushing off ‘vulgarities’ hurled against him,” reads the state-sanctioned headline on the interview about the image.
Since 2015, Russian authorities have been shutting down websites of Putin critics, and restricting nearly all anonymous blogs, The Washington Post reported.
We’re grateful to be based in New York City.