Is Johnny Weir a Russian Agent?

The Coatesville native may have a strange connection to Mother Russia.

Yesterday, a progressive news site called Americablog reported a strange tidbit about figure skater Johnny Weir’s online resume. Weir, who has been hired as a commentator for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and who has made some bizarrely flippant comments about the country’s vicious anti-LGBT laws, had this line in his Premiere Speakers Bureau online bio

Due to his ability to understand global art and culture and his sporting expertise, Weir has recently begun working as a Goodwill Sports Ambassador to Japan and also works with the Russian Children’s Welfare Society and Russian Consulate in New York City.

I don’t know that that really amounts to an endorsement of gay-bashing, but it was deemed controversial enough by Weir’s people that they struck the line from the bio. A spokesperson then claimed it was a “typo,” while Weir posted this one his Twitter feed.

BuzzFeed then hopped on the story and called LBGT activist Ken Kidd, who didn’t buy the “typo” explanation and further slammed Weir for being a Russia apologist.

“If the Russian government isn’t paying him, they should be — he might as well make some money from his collaboration,” Kidd said. “If he is such a Russophile, Weir ought to put the Russian LGBT community before his new career at NBC and speak out about the LGBT Russians who are being arrested, jailed, beaten, raped, tortured, and murdered by their own government.”

BuzzFeed also reported that the ‘consulate’ line was in a second, different online bio as well. Whatever his relationship with Russia, talk of him being an “agent” is probably a little overblown.


  • jenn k

    Weir’s bio at Premier Speakers said he works with the Russian Children’s Welfare Society and the Russian consulate. That bio was used by The Harriman Institute when Weir and his husband spoke there this month. It’s still on the Harriman website, although Premier Speakers has reworded theirs.

    Weir did work with the RCWS on a fundraiser held in 2010 in collaboration with the Russian Consulate. And that’s the typo. Weir worked on this collaboration. Past tense.

    Weir’s official bio is posted on his website at johnnygweir.com. So is an account of his involvement in this charity gala, under Charities.

    Aravosis is desperate to turn this into a scandal, when it’s nothing more than Weir using his post-Olympic celebrity to raise money for children.

    • splendiferous2

      Why isn’t Weir working to help American children? As a gay man, I consider him a disgrace to my community. Even when you listen to his recent commentating, he seems to have much more to say about the Russian skaters in positive terms. What’s going on? If Weir wishes to be a collaborationist to Russian murders of Jews, lgblts, black migrant workers, journalists, he could hardly be doing a better job of legitimizing Putin and his fascist state. I won’t be watching the organized crimes games of Sochi and the NBC conglomerate collaboration.

      • jenn k

        Who says he’s not working to help American children? There’s a list of charities he’s involved with at the link I posted. Did you bother to look?

      • Judi

        Johnny and his husband have a scholarship for LGTB youths in the USA plus he works with the Trevor Project to prevent bullying in schools.

    • d

      The biography posted on the Harriman Institute web site, which is identical to the one that was posted on the Premiere Speakers web site, speaks for itself and it does not support your assertion that he merely attended a fund raiser at the consulate. Try and spin this any way you like. He works for the Russian Consulate and we know that because he said so.

      • jenn k

        The bio on the Harriman site is taken from the Premiere Speakers site. You can see the description of the event on both Weir’s own website (which has not changed at all) and that of the Russian Children’s Welfare Society.