Black man, who starred in campaign for Moscow restaurants, wants to leave Russia

A black man, who starred in a controversial advertisement for a chain of Moscow restaurants, announced his decision to leave Russia. The man fears that representatives of the Male State movement may hunt him down, RT reports.

The dark-skinned model of the advertising campaign is a student from Africa. He came to Russia about five years ago to study computer science. The young man said that he had repeatedly taken part in advertising projects and did not expect that the campaign would cause such public outcry.

After graduation, the man plans to return to his homeland. The modelling business is more of a hobby for him, he said.

"I read on social media that activists of the 'Male State' would take efforts to search for the models, who appeared the ad. This scares me a lot. I have only one year left to study in Russia. It is a pity that such a problem has come up now. I'm afraid I'll have to go home earlier without finishing my studies. If I receive threats, I am reporting this to the police, even though I'm not sure that the police can protect me. The supporters of the Male State can be anywhere I go," the young man told RT.

It was reported earlier that representatives of the Men's State movement and their ideologist Vladislav Pozdnyakov demanded a large Moscow chain of Japanese food restaurants should apologise for using photographs of black people in its advertising campaign. The campaign caused a controversy on social media, in which Pozdnyakov first asked his supporters to leave the restaurants alone, but then urged his "soldiers” to go "on the attack” again.

The "Male State" is a Russian officially unregistered men's movement that declares the ideas of patriarchy and nationalism. The movement was established by Vladislav Pozdnyakov in 2016 as part of a closed community on VKontakte social network. The movement's activities are mainly carried out in the Internet environment: community members are engaged in bullying, threats and harassment of women and LGBT people. In 2020, the Male State community was blocked by the VKontakte administration for “incitement to violent actions”.