Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is blaming a “bizarre, little confusion” for U.S. talk-show host Chelsea Handler airing a photo of him as she talked about remarks by Sochi Mayor Anatoly Paskhomov about gays in the Russian city.
“I am not the mayor of Sochi. I have always stood strong and proud for Vancouver’s LGBQ community,” Mr. Robertson said Wednesday. “Gay rights are really important to Vancouverites. It’s a bizarre little confusion.”
Mr. Robertson tweeted about the error, and told reporters following an unrelated event at city hall that his staff has been in touch with Ms. Handler’s team in hopes of the airing of a clarification.
During Monday’s episode of Chelsea Lately, the host ran a photo of a stern-looking Mr. Robertson – in front of a B.C. flag – as she discussed Mr. Paskhomov’s comments about there being no gays in Sochi, which is about to host the winter Olympics.
Mr. Robertson, who seemed somewhat bemused by aspects of the fuss, suggested Ms. Handler was well-intentioned in raising the issue of gay rights, even if she confused her Olympic mayors. Vancouver and Whistler hosted the last Winter Olympics in 2010.
The mayor noted that Vancouver councillor Tim Stevenson, who is openly gay, has travelled to Sochi to meet with the International Olympic Committee and international media to speak out in opposition to Russia’s anti-gay laws.
Mr. Robertson said the photo of him aired on Ms. Handler’s show was a little alarming.
“The picture looked like a bit of a funhouse mirror. I thought they had it in for me. Hopefully they can set the record straight.”
John Rizzotti, a spokesperson for the E! channel that airs Ms. Handler’s show, said in an e-mail from Los Angeles that Ms. Handler would deal with the confusion in Wednesday night’s episode. It airs at 11 p.m. ET.
He declined to provide any advance details.