More than a dozen gay-rights protestors stunned NBC’s Today show this morning, unfurling a rainbow banner in front of Matt Lauer as he interviewed fans live in Rockefeller Center. The group, members of Queer Nation, demanded that NBC report on the Russian government’s ongoing attacks on the LGBT community.
NBC is the official network of the Sochi Winter Olympics, and Matt Lauer will be in Russia to anchor coverage of the Games in February.
“NBC and Matt Lauer will have remarkable access to Vladimir Putin and the Russian LGBT community,” said Queer Nation’s Ken Kidd. “Along with that comes the responsibility to report the real news. We are putting NBC on notice: Making Sochi a two-week travelogue infomercial for Putin would turn NBC into his media collaborators.”
Shouting chants and waving a banner that read “Human Rights Yes, Russian Lies Nyet,” the demonstrators hit Rockefeller Plaza just as Today went live at 8am, surprising anchor Matt Lauer, who was interviewing fans outside the studio.
Onlookers reportedly turned away from NBC’s cameras to watch the protest, which was disbursed by police after 10 minutes.
Photos: Ronnie Bhardwaj