In Rotterdam, he was part of the creative team behind Natalia Gordienko’s “Sugar”. But now Russian pop icon and Eurovision 1995 star Philipp Kirkorov has attracted the attention of Russia’s state telecommunications watchdog. It follows his attention-grabbing appearance on the red carpet at the recent Muz-TV awards.
At last week’s Muz-TV music awards, Philipp Kirkorov turned heads on the red carpet. He rocked up to the event with the popular rapper Dava. The pair were dressed in tailcoats, with Philipp in white and Dava in black. The two pop stars evoked a same-sex couple about to walk down the aisle together.
Adding to the nuptial theme, the couple were accompanied by eight shirtless muscular men, looking like the sort of entertainers one might find at a bachelorette — or indeed, bachelor — party.
Russia currently does not allow or recognise same-sex marriage nor civil unions.
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Other Russian stars were also turning heads on the Muz-TV red carpet. TikTok star Danya Milokhin represented the best of both worlds, with an outfit that was a fun pink dress on one side and a sharply cut black tuxedo on the other side. Popular beauty blogger Igor Sinyak brought eleganza to the red carpet by wearing a black gown featuring a long ruffled train.
On his Instagram, Igor wrote, “Yes, I came to the main music award of the country in a dress and I’m fine. I am the first guy in Russia to do this. Clothes have no gender and I will wear what I want.”
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Russia’s telecommunications watchdog will investigate
The televised event has caught the attention of Roskomnadzor — Russia’s state telecommunications watchdog. In a statement to RIA Novosti news service, the government agency said:
“Roskomnadzor will analyze the recordings of the Muz-TV channel broadcasting the award for violations of the current legislation of the Russian Federation, including in the field of protecting children from information harmful to their health and development. In case of violations, Roskomnadzor will take appropriate response measures.”
The applicable Russian law for “the Purpose of Protecting Children from Information Advocating for a Denial of Traditional Family Values” is also known as the “gay propaganda law”.
The law was signed into effect in 2013 by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Its aim is to protect children from being exposed to content that presents homosexuality as normal, with the argument that this contradicts traditional Russian family values.
The law has been widely condemned by international groups such as the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child and Amnesty International.
While “non-traditional” sexual relations can be shown on Russian television, the law restricts screening to no earlier than 11pm and requires that broadcasts be marked as 18+.
Russian Eurovision stars pick up Muz-TV awards
But despite the controversy, the event was one of celebration, with many Russian Eurovision stars taking home honours.
Dima Bilan, Russia’s only Eurovision winner, was awarded Artist of the 25th Anniversary, honouring his impact over the 25 years of Muz-TV.
Russia’s Eurovision 2020 act Little Big were awarded Best Group. As well, Ukraine pop icon LOBODA was given the award for Best Women’s Video.
As well, Philipp Kirkorov was given a special Muz-TV award “For Contribution of the Development of a New Generation of Artists”. It’s one of many awards he has received over his long career. In 2017, President Vladimir Putin presented Kirkorov with Russia’s prestigious Order of Honour medal, recognising his contributions to the arts.