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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Broadcaster Releases ‘Gay Mountain’ Video for Olympics in Sochi

Channel 4 promotional advertisement for the Winter Olympics will air on Friday to mark the start of the event. It is called “Gay Mountain” and is intended to wish good luck to gay and straight athletes.

A television broadcaster in Britain is celebrating the opening of the Winter Olympics in Sochi with a change in its corporate logo to rainbow colors, and a promotional advertisement that it will air on Friday to applaud the gay and straight athletes who are taking part.

Called “Gay Mountain,” the 90-second promotion features a shirtless male performer wearing a bear tail and surrounded by backup dancers in sequined bodysuits and sunglasses. On its corporate homepage, Channel 4 posted a photograph of the dancer with the caption: “Good luck to those out in Sochi.”

“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,” the Channel 4 chief marketing and communications officer, Dan Brooke, said in a statement on the broadcaster’s website.

In the months before the start of the Winter Games, many rights groups and other international organizations have documented the violence and discrimination that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people face in Russia. There have also been protests and calls for a boycott of the Games.

On Wednesday, the investigative team of Channel 4, Britain’s publicly funded broadcaster, took serious note of the human rights aspects of the treatment of L.G.B.T. people in Russia with a documentary on the homophobic attacks there.

The British Broadcasting Corporation was awarded exclusive broadcasting rights by the International Olympic Committee to the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

But Channel 4 said it will be “rainbow branded” in the colors of the gay pride flag on Feb. 7 to mark the start of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and of the Paralympic Winter Games, for which Channel 4 is the British broadcaster, that starts in March.

It will kick off the television promotion to “wish good luck to all the athletes,” at 7 p.m. on all Channel 4’s channels - including E4, More4 and 4Seven - and just before peak times of 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

Justine Bower, a member of the public relations department at Channel 4, posted a photograph of the channel’s new logo model, rebranded in rainbow colors, going up in front of the corporate offices.

The television promotion features a “bearlesque” act by the dancer “Fred Bear.” In the opening seconds of the footage, he first appears on stage in a long fur coat, speaking in a thick Russian accent. He then throws off his coat and launches into the lyrics of the anthem, which Channel 4 transcribed on its website:

Be fabulous, be free

We honor our Queens

And follow the rainbow which leads to the east

Gay mountain, gay mountain

Be proud on gay mountain

Gay mountain, gay mountain

Good luck gays, on gay mountain

Mens and all mens and womens and all womens

Come together tonight, sing with pride

Gay mountain, gay mountain

Be proud on gay mountain

Gay mountain, gay mountain

Good luck gays, on gay mountain

Follow Christine Hauser on Twitter @christineNYT.