Bono allegedly has a very high opinion of himself and his ability to influence others, but even he would surely be flattered to hear that his music could change the sexual orientation of a generation. Russian politician Alexander Starovoitov believes that the free giveaway of U2’s album is actually a ploy to make teenagers turn gay.
Right-wing politician worried by U2 album artwork
Starovoitov is a member of the right-wing LDPR party, and is less than impressed by the artwork for the album, which features “drummer, Larry Mullen Jr, embracing his 18-year-old son, Elvis, shirtless.” U2 says the image is “a visual metaphor for the album and its theme of ‘how holding on to your own innocence is a lot harder than holding on to someone else’s,’” but Starovoitov sees an altogether more sinister intent.
The Duma deputy has requested that the Russian attorney general investigate Apple for its role in distributing “gay propaganda” to minors. The U2 album was given away for free on the tech giant’s iTunes music service in September 2014. Not only was the album given away for free, it automatically downloaded onto over 500 million iTunes users’ devices.
Worldwide backlash against forced download
Starovoitov claims that the company spammed users with illegal content, and he is not the only one upset with the forced download.There was a huge backlash to the idea that users could be coerced into having certain files on their devices, and both U2 and Apple were forced to address the issue.
“I had this beautiful idea and we kind of got carried away with ourselves,” said frontman Bono in response to the criticism. “Artists are prone to that kind of thing.”
The album could land Apple in hot water after lawyer Evgeny Tonky claimed that he would sue Apple in order to gain compensation for moral damages on behalf of his son. If Apple is found guilty, its Russian operations could be suspended for 90 days and the company forced to pay a fine of 1 million rubles. A million rubles may sound like quite the deterrent, but its only $19,400, which won’t worry Tim Cook too much.