Actor Ian McKellen, 27 Nobel laureates and a fictional king and a wizard signed an open letter to Russian president Vladimir Putin urging him to repeal a nationwide ban on gay “propaganda.”
In the letter, published in Tuesday’s edition of The Independent, McKellen reveals the U.K. Foreign Office warned him about speaking openly about his sexuality while in Russia. “I have therefore felt that I had to turn down invitations to attend Russian film festivals,” he wrote.
His name comes sandwiched amid the signatures and credentials of 27 Nobel prize winning chemists, physicists and writers. For his own credentials, McKellen wrote “aka Henry V/Gandalf.”