The Russian Ministry of Culture seeks to describe the remake with actors of the classic Disney film as “not suitable for children under 16 years” because of a character who openly manifests his homosexuality.
Those teenagers under 16 will not be able to see the new version of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast in Russia because it has a gay character, the Russian Ministry of Culture said yesterday.
The ministry said via e-mail that its decision for a rating not suitable for children under 16 arose after requests from lawmaker Vitaly Milonov, famous for his ultraconservative positions, who asked that the film starring Emma Watson was banned.
In a letter published Saturday by the RIA Novosti news agency, Milonov protested against the display of a film that spreads “an overtly shameless propaganda of sin and sexual perversion under the guise of a fairy tale.”
Milonov, who was elected by Duma state last year, was a lawmaker in St. Petersburg and has built his political career by opposing LGBT rights.
In 2013, Russia passed a federal law prohibiting “gay propaganda” among minors. The law was vaguely worded so that it could be applied in a variety of circumstances, for example, against homosexual teachers and teachers working directly with children.
The law was made taking as a model an initiative of St. Petersburg that Milonov wrote a year before.
The scene that has caused this controversy is brief and involves the character LeFou (Josh Gad), the timid and adorable buddy of villain Gaston (Luke Evans).
Last Thursday at the premiere of the movie in Los Angeles, director Bill Condon said describing LeFou as Disney’s first gay character was going too far. “I would say it’s more like the first gay moment,” he said. “It is inevitable to think that his adoration for Gastón … could be something more?”.
In Alabama, an auto cinema said that it would not present the film because its operators “are Christians above all things.”
During the weekend, several interviews that Condon had planned with written media were canceled, Efe confirmed. The official reason given by the study was “lack of time.”
Disney, which has not spoken about the controversy, has distinguished itself in recent years for being one of Hollywood’s most conscious studios when it comes to betting on diversity in their films and series.
In fact, her children’s series “Doc McStuffins” stars as a black girl, and the animated series “Star vs. the Forces of Evil” recently included a kiss between characters of the same sex.
Also, Disney Channel recently introduced Elena de Avalon, its first Latin princess, and next year the studio will launch the blockbuster “Black Panther,” starring several African-American characters.