Banning programs for Rammstein is fundamentally wrong. Russia is against cancel culture!
Valeria Kukaleva September 17, 2023, 22:45 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
Why repeat exactly what we criticize the West for? And who will benefit from this?
Pyotr Gumennik was banned from performing a short program with the German group Rammstein, and this became the main (and, perhaps, the only) scandal of the Russian national team’s skate tests that ended on Megasport.
It is not entirely clear who exactly was the main initiator who said the word “stop”; It seems that Figure Skating Federation officials did not say a resounding “no” and did not comment at all on what happened.
Gumennik’s coach Veronika Daineko spoke about the situation: a few days before skating, she wrote a comment on social networks.
The day before leaving for skating trials, Tamara Moskvina approached her (Gumennik and Daineko study at Moskvina’s school) and showed her an email whose meaning was that Rammstein is not patriotic. The letter was sent to the Minister of Sports Oleg Matytsin, its author was a certain Evgeny Kartushin. Moskvina told Daineko that this is a “matter of national importance,” and that the Russian figure skating team cannot put its interests before national importance. The federation told Daineko that skating with Rammstein is not desirable, although there were no direct threats of punishment.
Background of what happened:
Was a Russian figure skater’s program for Rammstein cancelled? First scandal of the season!
The whole case seems strange and is very reminiscent of cancel culture, a typically Western concept that in Russia has never been supported by the upper echelons, not only in sports, but also in the government. Officials at all levels openly condemn this concept in the context of the political situation and beyond.
The demolition of monuments to great historical figures of Russia and the cancellation of opera performances in Europe by Russian composers are, of course, a mistake, which is rightly condemned in our country.
Or a recent case of figure skating (you don’t have to go far): the deprivation of Lithuanian citizenship to Margarita Drobyazko due to her performances in Russian shows. Everyone was indignant: Tatyana Tarasova, Tatyana Navka, Ilya Averbukh, Alexander Zhulin and others spoke. They were absolutely right to be outraged, but then someone decided to cancel Rammstein.
We will not say who exactly, because we do not know ourselves: a conditional “collective complainer” who did the same thing, for which he criticizes the West. But who comes out worse off from this? The singer of the German group Till Lindemann? No, things got worse for Peter Gumennik and his team. Our Russian figure skater, runner-up in Russia, who had been preparing the program for several months and was burning with this idea.
Photo: Alexander Safonov, “Championship”
Of my fellow skaters, only one spoke bravely
It is also sad that Peter had practically no support from his colleagues. Most of the skaters on the test skates spoke very vaguely: they say, it’s a shame this happened to him, but I hope nothing like this happens to me. Only Matvey Vetlugin was not afraid and spoke:
“The situation is really crazy. You know, Petya told us in the locker room that the federation, the judges and Channel One liked her show. And canceling it and replacing it with another only after a deputy’s complaint is too much.
He spent several months working with the coaching staff, it was a Herculean effort. I just don’t understand if we complain about the abolition of Russian culture in some countries and if this really happens, this, of course, is extremely bad. But how is this different from other similar cases? Art has no nationality. And that’s why I’m not sure what will happen tomorrow. And if any congressman’s feelings are hurt by the song “May there always be heaven, may there always be the sun”… What, we won’t be able to skate to that?
In short, I support Petya and his staff. I hope this situation is resolved. If you really like this show and are sure you want to do it, why ban it? This is a large-scale problem, a threat to the choice of specific composition for figure skating programs. I think I had to say something about it, because if a situation like this happens to me, I want there to be a person who will intercede,” Velugin said openly.
Pyotr Gumennik already performed with Rammstein in the program and shared his emotions with the “Championship”:
“The coach wanted me to skate anonymously.” How Russia’s best skater danced with Rammstein