Robbie Williams may be in trouble with Russian authorities after he flipped the bird directly at a camera during the 2018 World Cup opening ceremony.
Williams, who toured Australia earlier this year, was performing at Lushniki Stadium right before Russia absolutely flogged Saudi Arabia with a 5-0 win. He was in the middle of ‘Rock DJ’ when he changed the lyrics to “I did this for free” and let his middle finger fly.
— Caterina J ⫩ 🍊 (@_MrsOrange) June 14, 2018
We’re still unsure why Williams flipped off the camera during his performance, but there’s a lot of talk about whether he’ll get in trouble, with reports saying the gesture may have breached Russia’s broadcast guidelines.
The Independent reported that Russia changed its laws on profanity in artistic performances back in 2014, mandating that offenders using profane language during a program could cop a $1,800 fine.
An expert panel is brought together to come to a final decision on whether a profanity violates the laws, so we don’t know if Williams will be hit with a fine just yet.
Worldwide, broadcasters have apologised for the display. In the US a spokesperson for FOX said they were sorry the rude finger was shown on screens nationwide.
“The 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony was a newsworthy event produced by a third party and carried live on FOX,” they said.
An opening ceremony with Robbie Williams as the entertainment is always going to be, well, entertaining. Check out some more reactions to Williams’ performance, below.
— Angry Scotland Podcast🎙 (@AngryScotland) June 14, 2018
— Andres Soto (@Andres_Soto_7) June 14, 2018
— Tony Perkis (@CampHopeOwner) June 14, 2018