It’s hard to imagine anyone finding the present-day version of U2 to be subversive or dangerous in any way, but Russia is a different place. Specifically, The Guardian reports that one Russian legislator, the right-wing Duma deputy Alexander Starovoitov, has asked Russia’s attorney general to investigate Apple for distributing U2’s album Songs Of Innocence to every iTunes customer. Those of us who didn’t like the album found that big forced-giveaway stunt to be a minor inconvenience and a thing to joke about. To Starovoitov, though, it amounted to distributing “gay propaganda” to minors.
Starovoitov’s issue is the album’s cover, which shows shirtless drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. hugging his shirtless son. Starovoitov claims that the image promotes sex between men. (Nevermind that the image didn’t come with the iTunes-distributed edition of the album; it’s only on the physical version.) If Apple is convicted of distributing gay propaganda, a crime in Russia, they’ll have to either cease Russian operations for as many as 90 days or pay a fine of up to one million roubles. That sounds like a lot, but it amounts to about $19,369. Don’t cry for Apple. Cry instead for the people of Russia who have to be governed by deluded fanatic fucks like this.