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Steven Seagal Booted From Estonia Music Festival Over His Support of Vladimir Putin

Jul 22, 2014 02:38 AM EDT
Steven Seagal
(Photo : Youtube/Fox News) Steven Seagal of the Steven Seagal Blues Band performs on stage Saturday in Leeds, U.K.. His band got the boot from an Estonian music festival due to his support of Vladimir Putin.

Even celebrities such as action star Steven Seagal can't escape public scrutiny in Estonia.

Actor and blues artist Seagal was removed from the Estonia Music Festival lineup due to his support of Vladimir Putin, who is alleged to be involved in the attack of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, The Guardian reported.

The 62-year-old actor, who has made his support of the Russia's president publicly known in previous interviews, was banned from performing with his band at a blues festival in Estonia following Putin's alleged involvement in the missile attack on the Malaysia Airlines jet, which killed 298 passengers and crew members.

On June 17, the music festival announced that Seagal and his blues band are set to headline Augustibluus in Haapsalu on Aug. 14 as part of the celebration for Estonia fest's 20th anniversary.

The announcement was received with general displeasure by Estonians, whose nation had been previously invaded by the Soviet Union and borders Russia, because of the "Under Siege" actor's public support for Putin.

Seagal, who previously called Putin "one of the greatest world leaders alive today," also defended Putin who was continuously slammed for invading Ukraine's Crimea territory in March, saying the president's move was "very reasonable," Huffington Post reported.

"I consider him my friend," Seagal told a Russian outlet of Putin, as quoted by The Guardian.

"We hoped the Estonian public would first and foremost see Steven Seagal as an actor and a musician," Indrek Ditman, the blues festival's director, said in a press release at the time. "It turns out what they saw was rather a politician and a henchman."

Tonis Magi, a local blues artist, was one of the Estonians who agreed with the latter assessment of the actor as he reportedly planned to boycott the music fest if Seagal wasn't removed from the lineup.

Ditman added that the "Above the Law" actor's political views were just about as unexpected and surprising to many as finding out that Seagal was a talented blues musician, Washington Times reported.

"To many in Estonia, it came as a major surprise that the action movie hero is a blues musician,"the director said of Seagal. "Likewise, the organizers and numerous others were unpleasantly surprised by his political views and public statements."

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