Russia is considering a ban of Disney’s forthcoming live-action remake of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ over its ‘gay moment’.
Vladimir Medinsky, the country’s culture minister, has said that the film will be checked to see whether it is in breach of the country’s laws against so-called ‘gay propaganda’.
According to the BBC, another Russian MP accused the film of being ‘shameless propaganda of sin’.
Laws in Russia prevent the spreading ‘gay propaganda’ among minors, as part of legislation introduced in 2013 which terms homosexuality as ‘non-traditional sexual relations’.
“As soon as we get a copy of the film with relevant paperwork for distribution, we will consider it according to the law,” Mr Medinsky said.
In promoting the movie last week, the film’s director Bill Condon spoke of an ‘exclusively gay moment’ in the movie, between Le Fou, played by ‘Frozen’s Josh Gad, and the blustering Gaston, played by Luke Evans.
It’s said to be the first such instance to be featured in a Disney movie.
“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” he told Attitude magazine.
“He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings. And Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that’s what has its pay-off at the end, which I don’t want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”
Homosexuality was decriminalised in Russia in 1993, and then removed from the country’s list of psychiatric disorders in 1999, but there has been rising instances of homophobia and homophobic violence in the country in recent years.
However, as recently as 2015, and despite the 2013 legislation, Russian leader Vladimir Putin has denied such homophobia in his country is exaggerated and that the country allows ‘people of non-traditional sexual orientation’ to ‘live in peace’.
“I believe there should not be any criminal prosecution or any other prosecution or infringement of people’s rights on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religious or sexual orientation.”
“We have no persecution at all,” he added in an interview with CBS.