Ben Steele, the director of the
upcoming documentary film Hunted:
The War Against Gays in Russia, said in an interview this
week that anti-gay violence is widespread in Russia.
Out actor Matt Bomer (White Collar,
The Normal Heart) narrates Hunted, which premieres Monday,
October 6 on premium cable network HBO.
The film takes a look at some of the
vigilante groups operating in Russia who regularly beat and torment
gay people and post graphic videos of their encounters online.
“They use the pretext of fighting
pedophilia in Russia to attack gay people,” a woman says in the
Appearing on HuffPost
Live, Steele said the police turn a blind eye to the violence.
“Anti-gay attitudes are widespread,
unfortunately, in Russia,” he said. “In Russia, there is no such
thing as a gay hate crime.”
“We've documented over 30 vigilante
groups in cities across Russia. And the kind of scenes that I filmed
are commonplace, widespread. For some of these vigilante groups it's
a regular Sunday pastime to lure someone to meet and then to taunt
them and humiliate them in that way,” he said.