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Channel 4 backs gay rights ahead of Sochi Olympics with 'bear cabaret' film

Channel 4 is adopting the colours of the gay pride flag and will run a 90-second trailer featuring a camp cabaret act across all its channels ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

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The campaign is an act of solidarity with the gay community as equal rights protestors target the Sochi Winter Olympics because of Russia’s controversial laws on homosexuality. One passed in 2013 banned the promotion of "non-traditional" relationships to under-18s.

The campaign was created by 4Creative, Channel 4’s in-house creative team. It kicks off with a 90-second roadblock across Channel 4, E4, More4 and 4Seven, at 7pm today (7 February), coinciding with the launch of the Winter Olympics.

The film features cabaret act Fred Bear singing a song called ‘Gay Mountain’, which features lyrics such as, "Be fabulous, be free. We honour our queens, and follow the rainbow which leads to the east."

At the end of the ad, Channel 4’s "born risky" pyramid logo is tweaked to include the colours of the rainbow – markings synonymous with gay pride. The spot will be repeated at 9pm and 10.30pm.

The channel's onscreen "4" logo will also be branded with rainbow colours for the day, and just before the  "gay mountain" film airs at 7pm, Channel 4 will show an interview with the former England rugby player Ben Cohen, on the subject of bullying and homophobia in sport.

Dan Brooke, the chief marketing and communications officer at Channel 4, said: "This is a typically Channel 4 way of celebrating the start of the Winter Games and showing our support to all of the athletes out in Sochi – gay or straight."

Google’s Doodle, the image seen above the search box on its homepage, shows images of winter sports including skiing, curling, ice hockey and snowboarding in the rainbow colours.

Under the search bar Google has published a passage of the Olympic charter: "The practice of sport is a human right.

"Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play."

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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