from The Guardian
Channel 4 is to rebrand its on-screen logo with rainbow colours of the gay pride flag – and launch a TV ad campaign called “Gay Mountain” – joining the rising wave of protests about Russia’s anti-gay laws on the eve of the opening of the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Channel 4, which has the TV broadcast rights to the Winter Paralympics, joins the growing ranks showing their support for gay athletes and protest against Russia’s anti-gay laws.
The broadcaster’s distinctive logo will be rebranded on Friday, the day of the opening ceremony, and the “what’s on next” screens that air between shows will be similarly rainbow-emblazoned for the day.
Channel 4 is also launching a 90-second TV ad that will debut in prime time at 7pm on Friday – as BBC2’s live coverage of the opening ceremony nears its climax – in a “roadblock” across its main channel, E4, More4 and catch-up station 4Seven.
See the video here:
The tongue-in-cheek ad, which will run for a week, features a “bear” cabaret act singing a song which features lyrics including “good luck gays, on gay mountain”.
Using a play on the term “out”, denoting when a person declares publicly that they are gay, the TV ad runs with the strapline “good luck to everyone out in Sochi”.
“This is a typically Channel 4 way of celebrating the start of the Winter Games and showing our support to all of the athletes out in Sochi, gay or straight,” said the Channel 4 chief marketing and communications officer, Dan Brooke.
Channel 4 has also used the rainbow motif to redesign the large-scale physical installation of its logo that sits outside its headquarters in London’s Victoria.
There has been a rising swell of protest since Russia introduced the new anti-gay laws, which prohibit the “promotion” of homosexuality to under-18s, last year.
On Thursday an open letter signed by more than 200 writers, including Jonathan Franzen and Salman Rushdie, protesting against the anti-gay and blasphemy laws was published in the Guardian.
The gay advocacy group All Out organised protests against the law in 19 cities worldwide on Wednesday, and has also released a list of athletes, including 12 who will compete at these Olympics, who are calling on Russia to change the law.
The International Olympic Committeehas said athletes will be free to speak out as long as they do so away from accredited areas.
Vladimir Putin has claimed that the laws are not discriminatory, but aimed at protecting Russian children from dangerous information about homosexuality and paedophilia.
The broadcaster also intends to air a short interview with ex-England rugby player Ben Cohen, founder of the StandUp anti-bullying foundation, which will air just before the TV ad breaks on Friday night.
Earlier this week Channel 4 aired a Dispatches investigation into gangs that target gay men and women.
Later this year Queer as Folk creator Russell T Davies returns to Channel 4 with two new dramas looking at gay life, Cucumber and Banana.