Just in: Festival chief is fired for saying gays don’t exist

Just in: Festival chief is fired for saying gays don’t exist


norman lebrecht

June 06, 2018

The incoming director of Pori Jazz, one of Europe’s biggest jazz festivals, was fired today after saying he does not believe gays exist.

Eminent Finnish musicians, including conductors, called on social media for a boycott of the festival unless Aki Ruotsala, a devout Christian, was fired.

So he was.

It’s the top news story in Finland today.



  • Sue says:

    What happened to a sense of humour? Oh, wait…. does it involve cakes at all? Sir John Falstaff wants to have his say about it.

    • Herr Doktor says:

      Sue, please, you REALLY are taking too much time away from watching Jordan Peterson videos. This is very dangerous for you.

      • Sue says:

        I rather think he’s proving far more dangerous to his opponents on the Left as he steadily cuts a swathe through their precious nostrums and pieties. Now that IS funny!!

        “There will be no more cakes and ale” (Sir John Falstaff)

        • Herr Doktor says:

          Sue, we can agree on one thing: Jordan Peterson clearly immobilizes the left, by inducing spasms of uncontrolled laughter. I love him!

          As he recently said to the NY Times, “I’m a very serious person.” Indeed.

          • Sue says:

            And now, Steven Pinker has fallen foul of the Guardian luvvies because of his plain-spoken truths. Dr. Pinker is now part of the Intellectual Dark Web and he’s got the luvvies in a tailspin. They’re using the usual terms like “controversial”, “feather-ruffling” to explain away his formidable ideas. Great to have Dr. Pinker on the team!!!

            Absolutely hilarious – the perennial and gullible undergrads who consume this rag!! Like Dr. Peterson, he’s cutting a swathe through their precious pieties and evangelical PC!!


          • Herr Doktor says:

            Sue, you are magnificent. I truly love you!

            Your world is a never-ending cast of pseudo-intellectuals, one day it’s X, and then the next day it’s Y, and then it’s Jordan Peterson, and then it’s….

            They’re a bunch of charlatans and cranks who all do their job well, until eventually it comes out how compromised they all are. And then they’re quickly forgotten and we’re on to the next one when the pictures inevitably surface, with _______ (fill in the pseudo-intellectual-du-jour) butt-naked, wearing women’s panties, bent over with Amerifist solidly behind him.

            Bless your lovely heart.

      • Antonia says:


      • Antonia says:

        People misunderstand Mr. Peterson. He said that if a student identifying as transgender approached him asking to be referred to by a different pronoun than for the gender s/he/they were born with, and if they seemed sincere and authentic about it, he would most likely use their desired pronoun. What he is against is forced/enforced speech, which takes away from freedom of speech. He’s actually not conservative, but conservatives have him pegged wrongly because he is actually more nuanced than they understand or grasp.

    • Tiredofitall says:

      Perhaps a link should have been included by NL. It isn’t so straight forward. Still disturbing however. He should have been dismissed on grounds of sheer ignorance. https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/pori_jazz_festival_boss_compares_curing_homosexuality_to_drug_addiction_rehab/10241313

      • Scotty says:

        The most disturbing sentence from the linked story about the Pori Jazz Festival: “This year’s event will be headlined by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Alanis Morissette, James Blunt and Burt Bacharach.”

        Pori Used-to-be-Jazz-Festival is more like it.

        Well, ok, the idea of curing the homosexuality out of homosexuals is also disturbing.

    • Van says:

      No Falstaff is Sue. Sue reminds me of Mr. Furley.

  • Doug says:

    Now if he would have only declared himself a devout Muslim instead of a Christian. He’d even be forgiven by the CorrectThink police for pushing gays off a rooftop.

    • Herr Doktor says:

      Doug, if I may, I believe you probably missed taking your medications today. That said, it’s better to be seeking to be tolerant of minorities being discriminated against than to be treasonous with Russians and others seeking to subvert democracy, or being parties to covering up these acts of treason.

      • Sue says:

        When you’re a little older and more mature you’ll realize the world isn’t always the way your progressive friends have told you it should be.

    • Bill says:

      This site really needs better moderation…

  • Maria says:

    Yes, Northern Rail.decided to strike on Maundy Thursday which, for any moderate version of Christianity for any moderate denomination, is a solemn feast. They wouldn’t dare try striking for Eid next week – the end of Ramadhan!

    • Bill says:

      Pfft. None of the Methodist and Lutheran churches I attended as a kid made any more of it than mentioning that “Thursday is Maundy Thursday” the Sunday before Easter. Almost as much of a non-event as all of the Catholic festival days are for a secular Jew.

  • John Borstlap says:

    From a certain point of view ‘gays’ may indeed not ‘exist’ – it is a recent label for a particular age-old natural personal preference, and as decennia of research have shown, boundaries between preferences are rather fluid. Labelling humans according to preferences has something dehumanizing about it. Like introducing your aunt Martha with: ‘… and this is Mrs Brown, a vegetarian. She just came back from an anti meat parade’.


    • Sue says:

      I always think of mules in this regard. Got it?

    • Fred Tracey says:

      PREFERENCE? Now that is “age-old” (or old age) stupidity. It’s time to change your calendar from the 1800s to present day. Have you heard of the new electric light?

      • John Borstlap says:

        Yesterday we had a power failure here and had to help ourselves with candle light and the petroleum generator for the computers. In the corner where I am supposed to work there’s not enough daylight – very old building – and I burned some letters, unfortunately, but for the rest it had a nice romantic atmosphere. Until this was interrupted by an angry voice ‘You too??!’ There had been some fires in the kitchen as well. You can understand 19C music mood this way, but how could they deal with everything without internet?! you can hear it in the sentimental music though, they didn’t have any outlet like facebook.


  • Nick2 says:

    What century are most of the posters here living in? Gay men and women (OK, use the term homosexual, if you prefer) play a vital role in all the arts, in our communities, in our world. Gay men and women exist whether or not we like that fact. They exist whatever a book written millennia ago in an age when small tribes roamed one specific tiny part of the world might claim and whose specific exhortations can never be proved. And they exist because medical science has disproved the claims of those who say homosexuality is an illness which can be cured.

    Anyone, the more so anyone heading an artistic organisation, who is ridiculous enough to deny in public the existence of gay men and women deserves to be fired.

    • Doug says:

      And pray tell how exactly do you reconcile this with your love of a seventh century political system called Islam that would gladly make sport of executing gays?

      • Hilary says:

        Roman Catholicism and Christianity take a dim view of homosexuality. Subscribers will vary in their stance of course but please note the extreme factions of the in the US.

      • Nick2 says:

        There was bound to be someone here who would bring up other religions. Fair enough! But tell me. Where in the Qu’ran do you find a command of death for homosexuality? Unlike the Bible, it’s not there!

  • Doug says:

    If I recall correctly, last time Iran’s Ahmadinejad was in the United States he declared that “Iran has no homosexuals.” Si where were all you Islamophiles then? Publicly calling for his head? No, you were cowering in your safe space.

    • AnnaT says:

      Doug, no one on this thread besides you has brought up Islam at all. But yes, when Ahmadinejad spoke in 2007, there was plenty of protest and opprobrium.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Firing the guy for that motive is more outrageous that what he said.

    • Sharon says:

      I agree that it was wrong to fire they guy.

      As long as he does not professionally discriminate against anybody he have a right to their opinion that homosexuality is “unnatural” and thus a learned orientation. Actually, until the late 1970s even many psychiatrists and psychologists believed that.

    • Jean says:

      The journalist (knowing about his career in Christian organizations) insisted him to answer the question if gays can become heteros. First he dived the question, but when the question was repeated by the journalist…. *BOOM!*

  • Robert Holmén says:

    I am shocked to read… there’s a jazz festival in Finland?

    But not shocked to find out they hired a dope to run it.

  • collin says:

    Good bye.

    I too am guilty of it.

    But this site has degenerated into one big click-baiting, trolling, gibberish garbage dump.

    You guys deserve each other.

    I’m out of here.

    • anon says:

      metoo, I’m signing out.

      Who knew there was a website dedicated to chronicling every smashed up violin on an airplane and to gratuitously bashing Peter Gelb?

  • MWnyc says:

    Well, well.

    And I can remember when it was illegal in Finland to express positive views of homosexuality in the media.

  • Dan P. says:

    While I don’t think it’s a good idea for firing people for saying stupid things or making obviously false statements, on the other hand, thinking that gays don’t exist(!!) or being prejudiced against LGBTQ people when it is your job to HIRE and MANAGE people, than that’s a different story. One can’t help but think that – at some degree, at least – that prejudice will affect the people he manages. Should one tolerate this? I don’t think so.

    The degree to which some religionists will delude themselves to make reality conform to their dogma, is frightening.

    • John Borstlap says:

      I never ever met a gay and then, I wouldn’t know how to distinguish them from normal people. It’s just much too difficult.


  • NightFlightToVenus says:

    Some deeply ugly and unpleasant views aired here.

    I struggle to identify any difference between this man’s apparent religious views and the terrible homophobic attack on the two Swiss pianists highlighted elsewhere on these pages. They amount to the same thing. Intolerance whether philosophical or physical has no place in civilised society. It was right he was fired