George Takei - On Russia's Anti-LGBT Law, Olympics lyrics
How much of an impact do you think you can realistically have on Russia hosting the Olympics?
We have over 160,000 signators to the petition. The IOC is having their meeting from Sept. 8 - 10 to elect their new president. When a change like this is being made, it's an opportune time to present this petition. Already, the furor that's been generated by the media focused on the oppressive policies of Russia is making the IOC think very deeply.
The Russians are taunting the IOC with the homophobic laws that they pa**. They give license to the thugs and the hooligans -- you know how they've been carrying on. This is the time for Russians to rethink. One of the senior members of the IOC, from Norway, has already spoken to the press saying that the Winter Olympics must be taken out of Sochi. He hasn't backed the idea of moving it to Vancouver yet, but that's the obvious venue that's the most prepared. Adjustments will have to be made, and if it's not in time for the Games and the will is there, you postpone it for a year.
I'd imagine housing is one of the problems.
Oh, yes. You have a lot of condominiums that have been bought as investments and aren't occupied. Or people who might use their condominiums but they live elsewhere, and they don't use them regularly. If there's the will to solve problems, it can be done. We must not give this international platform to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. We have to learn from history. Back in 1936, the Olympics were staged in Berlin. Three years before that, Hitler came to power and he pa**ed a seemingly innocuous law that stated that Jewish college professors would not be given tenure. That was the beginning, and then the Olympics were held, and he revelled in that international stage he was offered. His power grew, and his stature was raised. You know where he went from there.
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The Olympics certainly can provide a lot of power to the host country.
We have to remember that Putin was a member of the KGB. He has already demonstrated that kind of macho, dictatorial attitude. Russia has breached their pledge to uphold the Olympic charter. This is a great opportunity for the IOC to say we cannot, given the situation that exists currently, allow the Olympics to take place in Russia.
Russia is a huge player, both on the world stage and obviously in the Olympic Games themselves -- the country usually places in the top 5 medal winners at every Games. How realistic do you think it is to say that we're actually moving the Olympics to another country?
We will give it all the power that we can give. If it remains in Russia, then the next phase of our efforts should be to disqualify Russian athletes from participation. They've breached the Olympic charter. The humiliation ... they'd be holding it in Russia, and the Russian athletes can't participate because of their egregious homophobic policies.
Switching gears here, at least in Canada we're more free to choose. And you'll be coming up to Toronto for Fan Expo!
Yes! Zachary Quinto, my friend from "Heroes," will be there too, to support the new "Star Trek" movies. He's openly gay. An openly gay actor playing Spock now. How the world has changed. [Laughs]