In an April 1 televised interview, Lavrov said the country had long backed a worldwide trend of countries wanting to get rid of racism. He boasted that Russia kick-started efforts toward this endeavor. "We were pioneers of the movement promoting equal rights of people of any skin color," he remarked.
But Lavrov stressed it was important "not to switch to the other extreme." He explained that this other extreme involved "aggression against white people … [who are] U.S. citizens," which was prevalent during the Black Lives Matter protests in May 2020. BLM protests became widespread across the U.S. following the death of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement that month.
BLM's efforts have led to a major debate about race, the rights of minorities and the destruction of memorials linked to slavery or colonization in different countries. But some BLM protests have devolved into riots, which saw storefronts being smashed and cars being set on fire. The city of Portland became the ground zero for these violent demonstrations.
A number of incidents involving violence against whites were also reported. Security guard Marquise Love attacked Adam Haner and his partner Tammie Martin back in August 2020, during protests in downtown Portland. Haner and Martin were originally downtown to buy drinks but became the target of BLM rioters "looking for a fight" after stepping in to save another mob victim.
Weeks after the attack on Haner and Martin, Michael Reinoehl shot and killed Aaron Danielson during BLM protests. Danielson was a member of the Patriot Prayer group, which gathered alongside other supporters of former President Donald Trump and traveled through the city and the downtown area. Federal law enforcement later killed Reinoehl in Washington state.
The Russian foreign minister accused the U.S. of seeking to spread what he dubbed a "cultural revolution" worldwide. "Hollywood is now also changing its rules so that everything reflects the diversity of modern society," Lavrov explained. The official branded this pandering to diversity as "a form of censorship "and added that Hollywood had "colossal possibilities" for it.
"You see, this is absurd. Political correctness taken to the point of absurdity will not end well," the foreign minister remarked. He continued: "I've seen Black people play [roles] in Shakespeare's comedies. Only I don't know when there will be a white Othello." (Related: BROADWAY BULLIES: 'Safe space' liberal actors target theater GUESTS for mass humiliation in the name of 'tolerance'.)
Lavrov's example focused on theater, but the actual scope of this pandering to diversity encompasses all forms of mass media, including movies and television shows. Indeed, one award-giving body has announced its intent to focus on diversity instead of artistic and technical merit.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Scientists – the body responsible for the Oscars – announced new standards for eligibility in the Best Picture category in September 2020. The body said the standards are designed to encourage "equitable representation on- and off-screen … to better reflect the diversity of the movie-going audience." The new representation and inclusion standards will be required for films gunning for the highest award starting in 2024.
The statement by the Academy said the standards were based on a template used in the U.K. and subsequently adapted to the American context. Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson remarked: "We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in [the] industry."
But not everyone in the entertainment industry welcomed the new diversity and inclusion standards. Actress Kirstie Alley took to Twitter to voice out her displeasure, calling the new standards "dictatorial" and "anti-artist." She wrote: "I've been in the [Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences] for 40 years. The Academy celebrates freedom of unbridled artistry expressed through movies. Hollywood, you're swinging so far left [that] you're bumping into your own ass."
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