2019 Russian ‘Woman of the Year’ LEFT DESERTED by fans & sponsors after justifying domestic violence
As awareness of the devastating impact of domestic violence is ever-growing amid the Covid-19 lockdown, it’s pretty much common knowledge that victim-blaming is bad form. In Russia, it appears one celebrity didn’t get the memo.
Ukrainian-born and Russia-based singer and television presenter Regina Todorenko has come under attack after suggesting women should think about why their actions induced domestic violence. Todorenko, who was once a host of the incredibly popular travel show ‘Oryol i Reshka’, said women who complain that their husbands beat them must be “psychologically ill.”
“Come on! Do you have any brains?” she said to Russian magazine PeopleTalk in an interview alongside her husband. “Why is he hitting you? Have you ever thought [about it]? And what have you done so that he doesn’t beat you? What did you do, so that he hits you?”
Todorenko faced an immediate backlash. Magazine Glamour Russia, who named her ‘Woman of the Year 2019’, rescinded her title. In a statement on Instagram they wrote that they “categorically do not support the position of Regina Todorenko regarding domestic violence, which she expressed in an interview with another publication.”
The TV presenter later apologized on her Instagram account, which has over eight million subscribers. “I AM AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE!” she said, “Forgive me for the incorrect language! I thank everyone and appreciate your opinion.”
She later published another apology, again on her Instagram. “I want to apologize again for my rude, disgusting statement,” she wrote. “I am against domestic violence and against any violence in general. I believe that there is no such thing as ‘deserving violence.’”Also on rt.com Russian MPs seek to create safe havens for domestic abuse victims during quarantine
Unfortunately for Todorenko, the damage was already done. Social media immediately turned against the well-known star. Internet outrage quickly became financial, as one of Todorenko’s sponsors pulled out of cooperation. In an interview with TV channel 360, PepsiCo Russia’s communication director Alexander Kostikov announced that they had decided to suspend Todorenko’s advertising campaign for juice brand J7. “We were very upset by the situation. Furthermore, we were shocked by these words because such statements do not correspond to the values of the company and the values of its brands. We are categorically against violence in any form,” Kostikov said. Photos and videos of Todorenko were immediately removed from the brand’s Instagram, VKontakte, and YouTube accounts.
Former presidential hopeful and fellow TV presenter Kseniya Sobchak took to Instagram to defend Todorenko, claiming that although she is entirely against domestic violence and victim-blaming she sees the mass-hysteria in a different light – “there is no greater pleasure for the crowd than to destroy a celebrity.”
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