An opera star is under fire over offensive comments posted to her Facebook page that refer to gay people as "fecal masses."
Tamar Iveri is a famous Georgian opera singer who was set to star in Opera Australia's production of "Otello." However, that has changed after anti-gay comments posted to her Facebook account in May 2013 were recently brought to light by the press. According to Gay Star News, the incendiary post read:
I was quite proud of the fact how Georgian society spat at the parade… Often, in certain cases, it is necessary to break jaws in order to be appreciated as a nation in the future, and to be taken into account seriously. Please, stop vigorous attempts to bring West’s "fecal masses" in the mentality of the people by means of propaganda.
The remarks were made in response to a violent anti-gay riot that broke out at an LGBT rights rally in Tbilisi, Georgia, last year. The riot was led by priests from the Georgian Orthodox Church, according to the New York Times. Thousands attacked a group of about 50 LGBT activists. At least 12 people were hospitalized.
Iveri denied responsibility for the offensive Facebook message, which has since been deleted. She said she was “shocked and saddened to be called homophobic" and attributed the post to her “very religious” husband, Raul Tskhadadze, who has “a tough attitude towards gay people."
She said she didn't support the rally but explained that was only because she was worried about violence erupting between the LGBT supporters and the religious conservatives. Tskhadadze posted a statement to Facebook Saturday taking responsibility for the post and quashing claims his wife is homophobic.
Alas, the apology was futile in regard to Iveri's future with Opera Australia. On Sunday, the Guardian reported Opera Australia dropped Iveri after an influx of backlash. A message on the opera company's Facebook page reads:
Opera Australia confirms soprano Ms Tamar Iveri will not be performing in Otello. Opera Australia has reached agreement with Ms Iveri to immediately release her from her contract with the company. Ms Iveri and her husband have both made public statements in the last 48 hours with regards to comments attributed to Ms Iveri. Ms Iveri has unreservedly [apologized] for those comments and views. Opera Australia believes the views as stated to be unconscionable.
In a Facebook post Sunday, Iveri said she chose to resign from the play "out out of consideration for the tranquillity of my colleagues and for the success of the production."