Ivan Okhlobystin, the actor and sometime Orthodox priest who caused controversy by calling on the Russian government to criminalise sodomy, has left his post as creative director of Euroset, Russia’s biggest mobile phone retailer. Okhlobystin, who stars in Interns, Russia’s equivalent of sitcom Scrubs, cited as his motivation for leaving “the constant threats, provocations and insults from sodomites towards my friends, partners and their families”. Euroset officially expressed regret at his departure and promised him a final bonus.
Immediately after his departure was announced, Okhlobystin was offered a new role by clothing company BAON, which has 150 stores in Russia. Company director Ilya Yaroshchenko expressed his delight in securing the services of the headline-making actor: “Okhlobystin is the best possible match for our target audience and the values of our brand — family values and Orthodoxy and what he is fighting against.”