Steven Seagal has had a planned appearance with his blues band at an Estonian music festival canned, after he pledged support for Russian leader Vladimir Putin over his actions in Ukraine.
The Steven Seagal Blues Band was due to play at the Augustibluus event next month, but the festival’s organiser has made it clear that he is not welcome.
Raul Ukareda told the news outlet DELFI that they binned his slot because of the ‘negative associations’ with the actor/musician/martial arts legend.
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“We hope that Estonian public will primarily view Seagal as an actor and musician,” he said.
“But, as it turned out, everyone sees him only as a politician and Putin loyalist.”
A public campaign had also been launched to ensure that Seagal didn’t play at the event, organised by Estonian singer Tonis Magi, after Seagal once again pledged support for the Russian annexing of Crimea at a recent biker festival in Sevastopol.
Even the Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet weighed in, saying that Seagal should not play the event, and that organisers should be sensitive to public opinion.
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In March this year, when Seagal was invited to Russia personally by Putin, the Moscow Times quoted the actor as saying that he supported Putin’s military actions, and that a ‘desire to protect the Russian-speaking people of Crimea, his assets, and the Russian Black Sea military base in Sevastopol… is very reasonable’.
He later called Putin ‘one of the great living world leaders’ and that he ‘would like to consider him as a brother’.
Seagal added that the US policy on Ukraine was ‘idiotic’.
The actor has long been a supporter of Putin, having become friends over their shared love of martial arts.
In a previous interview, Seagal said: “I would like to think I know him well. But I know him well enough to know that he is one of the greatest world leaders, if not the greatest world leader alive.”
He has also said that he might consider running for the governorship of the state of Arizona.
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