Published Sep 17, 2015A few days ago, iconic English piano man Elton John posted a message on Instagram saying that he had received a phone call from Russian President Vladimir Putin and that he would be meeting up with the controversial leader in-person to discuss LGBT equality. Now, it's been revealed that Sir Elton was the victim of a prank from Russian comedians Vladimir Krasnov and Alexei Stolyarov.
To prove that this was all a joke, the pranksters known as Vovan and Lexus shared an 11-minute recording of their phone conversation with Elton. In it, Stolyarov pretends to be press secretary Dmitry Peskov and translates for Krasnov, who plays Putin. Check it out for yourself at the bottom this page.
The pranksters took responsibility for the stunt in the tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda and have since discussed the incident on television. It doesn't come as a complete shock to learn that the phone conversation wasn't real, since press secretary Peskov had already spoken out to say that Putin had never spoken with Elton.
The singer has now shared the following response to the pranksters:
Pranks are funny.
Homophobia, however is never funny.
I love Russia and my offer to talk to President Putin about LGBT rights still stands. I will always stand up for those that are being degraded and discriminated against.
If this unfortunate incident has helped push this vital issue back into the spotlight, then I am happy to be pranked on this occasion.
Ironically enough, the publicity surrounding this incident might result in an actual phone call between Sir Elton and President Putin; the New York Times reports that Peskov said that the jokesters should apologize to John and that Putin would be willing to speak with the singer.
Now if only Pussy Riot could get Putin on the phone.