In a video posted on YouTube on Wednesday, famed Russian ballet dancer and actor Mikhail Baryshnikov strongly condemned Donald Trump and expressed his support for Hillary Clinton. It’s his first-ever presidential endorsement.
In the video, Baryshnikov compared Donald Trump to the authoritarian, communist regime that ruled the former Soviet Union at the time of his defection to the West in the late 1970s.
“Forty two years ago I left a country that built walls to come to a place without them,” Baryshnikov said. “But today, as a citizen of the United States, for the first time, I’m hearing rhetoric that reminds me of the Soviet Union of my youth, where it was a crime, and continues to be, a crime to be different.”
He went on to say Trump is like the “dangerous, totalitarian opportunists” refugees traditionally have fled to the United States to get away from.
“”I have never publicly endorsed a political candidate before, or inserted myself into politics in any way other than by voting, but this video is a direct call to action: We must elect Hillary Clinton as president in November,” he wrote in a press release announcing the video.
Baryshnikov has had a decades-long career as a dancer and choreographer, appearing both on stage and screen, such as the 1985 film White Nights with Gregory Hines.
Most recently, he had a role in the final season of HBO’s TV series Sex and the City where he played one of Carrie Bradshaw’s less-celebrated boyfriends, Aleksandr Petrovsky. [Ed. note: Hated him.]
The Trump campaign hasn’t directly responded to Baryshnikov’s endorsement yet, but given his pedigree, I would recommend they not challenge him to a dance-off.