London Theatre Direct halt ticket sales for Sergei Polunin at the London Palladium in light of homophobic comments posted on Instagram

Posted on 21 May 2019

Following a series of disparaging comments made by Ukrainian-born, Russian dancer Sergei Polunin that were deemed overwhelmingly sexist, homophobic, and fat-shaming, London Theatre Direct have made the decision to pull the plug on ticket sales for the ballerino's upcoming mixed programme at the London Palladium.

Sergei Polunin's homophobic comments

In December of last year, Russian ballerino Sergei Polunin made hateful comments on social media towards gay men, women, and clinically overweight people, effectively taking his nickname 'The bad boy James Dean of ballet' to a whole new level of bad. His disturbing remarks, which were well off the Richter scale of what's acceptable, have left his career trembling and skating on thin ice. 

In January of this year as a result of his inappropriate comments, Polunin was fired by the Paris Opera Ballet from appearing in Swan Lake last February. Prior to being sacked, lead Paris dancer Adrien Couvez called Polunin "a disgrace". Sergei Polunin, who is a self-proclaimed Putin sympathiser and avid Trump supporter, has also lost a number of modelling and acting jobs, sponsorships, and a Ted Talk gig following the controversy. Many gay activists are now calling for Polunin to be dropped from the upcoming summer production of Romeo and Juliet in Verona, which is why LTD have now decided to stop selling tickets for Sergei Polunin's show at the West End's London Palladium.

Polunin, who now has a sizeable tattoo of Vladimir Putin directly on his chest after acquiring Russian citizenship last year, told the world in an embarrassing Instagram post that gay men "need a good slap" and called on them to "stop being weak, be a man, be a warrior". Here are his anti-gay comments in full:

  • "Man up to all men who is doing ballet there is already ballerina on stage don’t need to be two. Man should be a man and woman should be a woman. Masculine and Feminine energies creates balance. That’s a reason you got balls. Same [thing] Outside ballet, Man what’s wrong with you? Females now trying take on the man role because you don’t f**k them and because you are an embarrassment. Man are wolfs man Are lions man are the leaders of there’s family you suppose to take care of everything! What happen? Stop being weak be a man be a warrior what’s wrong with you??? No respect for you, life will beat you down put you on your knees and wash you out. need a good slap to wake you up Unbelievable!!!"

Polunin also made disparaging comments against plus-size people:

  • "Let’s slap fat people when you see them it will encourage them to lose some fat. No respect for laziness. Stop sitting on your ass and start exercising. Do you see lions or Lioness being fat??? It’s not healthy it’s ugly It’s Lazy. Stop wasting food get your ass up go to nature and start exercising or get slapped.

Sergei Polunin: A troublesome ballerino

The 29-year-old dancer, who also acquired Serbian citizenship in 2017, has had a bad reputation for quite some time now. In 2013, he infamously walked out on the Royal Ballet during rehearsals, baffling everyone he had been working with. The tatted troublemaker, who once co-owned The London Tattoo Company in Holloway, North London before it eventually permanently closed, also had a troubled history with drug abuse. At the time he resigned from the Royal Ballet, Polunin was known to have frequently performed whilst under the influence of cocaine. He also displayed a series of erratic behaviour on Twitter during this time, publicly tweeting that he was in search of a heroin drug dealer.

Whilst the dancer did make a comeback thanks to his dance video for Hozier's 'Take Me To Church', which went viral on YouTube, and thanks to his film role opposite Jennifer Lawrence in Red Sparrow, Sergei Polunin has remained unapologetic on the matter and his hateful comments have no place in theatre or anywhere in the entertainment business.

About London Theatre Direct

London Theatre Direct are one of the industry leaders in UK theatre ticket sales. We were among the first ticket retailers to sell London theatre tickets online and have sold over a million West End theatre tickets since our founding in 1999. We are a certified member of the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (S.T.A.R.) and we work directly with all major London theatre groups, including Nimax Theatres, Delfont Mackintosh Theatres, Ambassador Theatre Group, Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group, along with smaller theatre groups and individual theatres. We are directly connected to a number of box offices for various West End venues and/or hold allocations for every performance. We are an equal opportunity employer and we do not discriminate or tolerate discrimination against people of different races, nationalities, gender, or sexual orientation.

Read our press release for more information on the halt of Sergei Polunin ticket sales.

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Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels

By Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels

Ephram is a jack of all trades and enjoys attending theatre, classical music concerts and the opera.