Gay wanted. The Russian MP is the face of a strange reality show

The principle of the unusual show is simple. Eight participants, living together in a villa, must complete a given task – and find out who is gay. Competitors who manage to do so will share among themselves the prize of two million rubles (about 675 thousand CZK).

However, if they don’t guess correctly, only the gays among the competitors will collect the prizes. “Pay close attention to your neighbor, perhaps he is the weakest link,” Milonov urged the participants, according to the Komsomolská pravda.

He is known for his violent homophobia. Last year, he proposed to sterilize gay people, by setting up shelters for them.

Lap dance, touching…

The show is very popular with Russian audiences, even though it may seem like outdated entertainment. The challenges of enabling participants to monitor each other’s sexual orientation varied.

This is part of a broader strategy of waging a culture war to distract people from more serious matters.

Dan Healey, a professor at the University of Oxford

In one of the episodes, the contestants complete a “loop dance” first of the strippers and then of the strippers. Others are watching. Another challenge was the participants touching scantily clad men and women through the opening.

While some saw the show as quirky trash, others spoke of interesting insights into Russian perceptions of homosexuality and masculinity.

“This is part of a broader strategy of waging a culture war to distract people from more serious issues,” Professor Dan Healey of the University of Oxford, who specializes in modern Russian history, told Insider.

“It also says something about Russia – it’s different from Europe and the West, it has its own ladder of values,” he added.

Camilla Salazar

"Unapologetic social media guru. General reader. Incurable pop culture specialist."

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