Miller wrote an open letter to festival organizers where he came out, but also further explained his decision:

Thank you for your kind invitation. As someone who has enjoyed visiting Russia in the past and can also claim a degree of Russian ancestry, it would make me happy to say yes.

However, as a gay man, I must decline.

I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government. The situation is in no way acceptable, and I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly.

Perhaps, when and if circumstances improve, I’ll be free to make a different choice.

Until then.

Wentworth Miller

Miller’s own mother is of Russian descent (and Lebanese, French, Dutch and Syrian), which is what he refers to in the letter, while his father is African American, Jamaican, English, German, and Jewish…with a side of Cherokee. While we’re sure festival organizers weren’t pleased with his decision, the folks at GLAAD (the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) have openly commended him for his stance, including actor and GLAAD representative Wilson Cruz. “Wentworth’s bold show of support sends a powerful message to LGBT Russians, who are facing extreme violence and persecution: you are not alone.”