Actor Leslie Jordan—best known for his Emmy-winning comedic turn as the snooty Beverly Leslie on Will & Grace—trolled Russian President Vladimir Putin over his vehemently anti-LGBTQ+ views
Jordan posted an Instagram video in which he goaded Putin to come out of the closet, saying "the lady doth protest too much" while "always acting so butch and strutting around."
Jordan's post—coming as Putin continues to face heavy criticism for the ongoing war in Ukraine—was a hit with his 5.8 million Instagram followers.
You can watch Jordan's video below.
“Well, you can’t turn on the television or open the newspaper without something about Mr. Putin."
“He doesn’t like gay people. Doesn’t want them in Russia. And then he’s got the wonderful basketball player and he won’t let her out."
"Make up your mind!"
“He’s always acting so butch and strutting around. You know what that means, don’t ya, uh-huh? The lady doth protest too much!”
“Time for you to come out of the closet, Putin. Miss Putin! We’re on to you.”
In Russia, LGBTQ+ people face legal and social challenges not experienced by others.
Same-sex couples are ineligible for the legal protections available to opposite-sex couples and Russia provides no anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people, nor does it prohibit hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Russia has long held strongly negative views regarding homosexuality, with polls indicating a majority of Russians are against the acceptance of homosexuality and have shown support for laws discriminating against homosexuals.
Although larger cities like Moscow and Saint Petersburg have been said to have thriving LGBTQ+ communities, there has been a historic resistance toward LGBTQ+ pride parades across different regions and local governments.
The most prominent criticism leveled at Putin and his administration typically concerns his administration's federal law "for the Purpose of Protecting Children from Information Advocating for a Denial of Traditional Family Values," also referred to in English-language media as the gay propaganda law, that has sought to restrict content and behavior that would present homosexuality as a societal norm.
Russia has been criticized by much of the international community for its stance on LGBTQ+ rights and the United Nations (UN) has condemned social discrimination, crimes, and violence against homosexuals within the country, often pointing to the murders of gay men in Chechnya, a republic of Russia.
Jordan's video had many social media users cracking up.
Last week, Putin announced he would send 300,000 reservists into Ukraine to continue fighting a war that has angered much of the international community and created the worst humanitarian crisis Europe has seen in decades.
Criticisms about Putin's handling of the war in Ukraine persist as do concerns he is using Brittney Griner—the "wonderful basketball player" Jordan referred to in his video—as a bargaining chip with the United States amid opposition from Western nations.
Griner, a professional basketball player for the Phoenix Mercury of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), was detained by Russian customs after cartridges containing hashish oil were found in her luggage.
American officials expressed concern Russia may be using her as leverage in response to the Western sanctions imposed against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.