A Russian TV prankster taking advantage of Elton John's earnest appeal to Russian oligarch Vladimir Putin caught the singer out, if you will. John, who once described himself as the world's most famous gay man, had made a public appeal to the homophobic Russian leader to discuss intolerance and LGBT rights.
The Russian TV mimic, known for prank calls, impersonated Putin on the phone and successfully pranked John into believing he was truly speaking with the Russian president. John thanked Putin on Instagram for "reaching out and speaking via telephone with me today." But it wasn't Putin, it was the prankster. John took it in stride, even hoping getting duped might nevertheless be a step in the right direction -- it certainly brought attention to the issue. "Pranks are funny," John wrote. "Homophobia, however, is never funny."
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Pranks are funny. Homophobia, however is never funny. I love Russia and my offer to talk to President Putin about LGBT rights still stands. I will always stand up for those that are being degraded and discriminated against. If this unfortunate incident has helped push this vital issue back into the spotlight, then I am happy to be pranked on this occasion. @ejaf @president_vladimir_putin #lgbt #lgbtrights #ShareTheLove