Beauty and the Beast: Russia won't ban the film because of gay character, but rates it 16+

Josh Gad's Le Fou is depicted in the film as pining after the film's villain, Gaston

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Russia will not ban Disney's Beauty and the Beast live-action remake, after Russian ministers urged government officials to consider the move if it was found to breach the country's discriminatory "gay propaganda" law.

Vyacheslav Telnov, head of the Culture Ministry's film unit, told KinoPoisk.ru (via Deadline), "We will issue the film distribution license without any problems. The minimum age is 16+." This, of course, blocks the film from being seen by much of its intended audience of children and families. 

In what's been described as an "exclusively gay moment" by the film's director, Josh Gad's Le Fou is depicted as pining after the film's villain, Gaston. 

One Russian MP, Vitaly Milonov of the United Russia party, described the film as "shameless propaganda of sin"; arguing that the scene may be in breach of Russian legislation passed in 2013, which prohibits the spreading of “gay propaganda” among minors. 

Russian actor Pavel Derevyanko told state-run TV Russia 24, "I will not take my kid to this movie"; which is a shame for Derevyanko, since the film has been rounding up largely positive reviews, with many surprised at how well the film captures the spirit of the original. 

New trailer: Beauty and the Beast

The news also saw one Christian cinema in the US cancel all screenings of the film; claiming its customers were, "free to come watch wholesome movies without worrying about sex, nudity, homosexuality and foul language."

Likely of little concern to Disney, with the film on track to make a killing at the box office. 


Beauty and the Beast opens in UK cinemas 17 March.

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