14 February 2010

Johnny Weir claims ‘crazy fur people’ threats keep him in Olympic village

(photo credit: cc: flickr.com/photos/nenyaki)

Figure skater Johnny Weir planned to stay at a hotel rather than at the Olympic Village during the Winter Games but changed his mind after receiving threats from anti-fur activists. Weir, who is sharing a two-bedroom suite with ice dancer Tanith Belbin, believes security at a hotel would have been difficult so he opted for the tight control of the village.

"All these crazy fur people,” Weir told the AP. “Security-wise, to stay in a hotel would be very difficult. There have been threats against me. I didn't want to get hurt."

Last month Weir drew fire from Friends of Animals for wearing a costume lined with fox fur at the United States Figure Skating Championships. At the time the figure skater claimed that he was receiving “pressures and threats from a certain animal rights group” so he decided to switch his free program costume from fox fur to faux fur for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Following the announcement, Friends of Animals immediately released a statement, “All we did was write him an open letter,” explained Priscilla Feral, the president of Friends of Animals. “Was it stark, yes? But it was written with care. Was there public outcry? Oh yes, there was. But we didn’t have anything to do with threats of violence. There was a firestorm of reaction. He was hearing from hordes of people.”

Weir claims he cannot say how the current threats via letters, faxes, e-mails, and phone calls were able to get through to him and he has not divulged who the “crazy fur people” represent. Considering the statement from Friends of Animals it is unlikely that the organization has anything to do with the threats. Weir scuffled with PETA in the past but the organization is known for its in-your-face antics, alerting the media of the group’s every protest and letter-writing campaign, not one that would hide from publicity.

That leads us to the question that begs to be asked -- Who exactly is making the “very serious threats” against Johnny Weir?

After the first set of threats Weir's agent, Tara Modlin, said she deleted the abusive messages and neither she nor Weir had alerted the authorities.

The men's figure skating competition begins with the short program on Tuesday.

Follow This Dish Is Vegetarian on Twitter

More Dish:
KD Lang performs enchanting rendition of ‘Hallelujah’ for Olympics Opening Ceremonies
Valentine’s Day tale of love between goat and sheep at Farm Sanctuary
PETA tells Larry Bird his appearance in McDonald’s Super Bowl ad isn’t ‘for the birds’
Vegan firefighter Rip Esselstyn shares Engine 2 Diet with Dr. Oz
Taylor Swift scolded for feeding wild possums in Australia