Two of the main TV broadcasters, BBC and Channel 4 are doing their bit to expose the restrictions on gay rights in Russia.
The BBC has been showing documentaries about it and the extensive corruption surrounding them but as they are broadcasting the games, they have had to be a little subtle. Their anchor in Sochi, Claire Baldwin, is openly gay and has discussed her reasons for the choice however her stance has been condemned on Twitter:
Miss Balding did not defend herself against the worst of the abuse but replied to some of the more measured tweets herself, saying participating and voicing opposition to homophobia was better than a boycott.BBC One is making extensive use of its station ident first used for the soccer World Cup. The station's logo is the name on a red circle which is worked in different ways. This one of a crowd of spectators bears a remarkable resemblance to a rainbow flag. The ident starts at about 00.05 for roughly 10 seconds in this version.
One Twitter user, @Pazbob, told her: ‘Bit of advice. Staying home would make you braver still, and grant you a place in LGBT history.’
Miss Balding replied: ‘No, I’d make more at home, be safer and have an easier life. The reason I’m here is to do my job. Visibility before avoidance #pride.’
She added: ‘I am glad I came. Would have been easier to avoid but the easy option isn’t always the right one.
Channel 4 has gone even further. The presenters of one of its shows "The Last Leg" have been warned by the British security services to lay off their implications that Putin is gay (they were the first to liken his propensity for having photos with his shirt off riding a horse, with soldiers etc as him trying to recreate the Village People). They also created a song that Channel 4 has taken and made into a 1min30 message shown on all their channels (they have several including E4 and Film4) during advertising breaks to coincide with the opening ceremony at Sochi. Enjoy!
Channel 4 also changed their logo to paint it in the rainbow colors. Friday Night, "The Last Leg" presented a live version of the video. More about the show and the video of the presenters joining in below the fold.
The Last Leg was introduced by Channel 4 during its coverage of the Summer Paralympics in 2012. Its role was to give an alternative view of the games and disabilities - the three presenters are themselves disabled. Adam Hills, the Australian behind the desk, has a prosthetic lower leg. Alex Brooker was born with hand and leg deformities - his right leg was amputated and he too wears a prosthetic. Josh Widdicombe has pectus excavatum, a congenital deformity of the chest wall.