Beauty and the Beast avoids Russia ban, but kids won’t get to see it

Beauty and the Beast avoids Russia ban, but kids won’t get to see it
Still from Beauty and the Beast, 2017, dir. Bill Condon

8 March 2017

After calls to ban it, Russia’s Ministry of Culture will allow the release of Disney’s upcoming Beauty and the Beast film. Forget taking your children, though — a “gay moment” has won the film a 16+ rating.

Last week, MP Vitaly Milonov urged Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky to hold a screening of the film before its release — due next week — to ensure that it does not violate Russia’s “gay propaganda” law.

The scandal surrounds a side-plot in which sidekick LeFou deals with feelings towards the film’s principal antagonist, Gaston. Speaking last week to BBC Radio 4, Beauty and the Beast director Bill Condon acknowledged the “exclusively gay moment” in the film.

In 2013, Russian lawmakers banned “propaganda” that promotes “non-traditional sexual relations”, with scrutiny even extending to so-called “gay emojis”.

Given his fears surrounding the promotion of “non-traditional sexual relations”, you might expect Mr Milonov to have something to say about the film’s main storyline — namely the love story between Belle and the beast. Surprisingly, he appears to have no issue with this type of romance.

Source: BBC News