Russia gives Beauty and the Beast 16+ rating over 'gay moment'

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Rated… Russia gives Beauty and the Beast over 16 rating – Credit: Disney

In Russia, you’ll have to be over 16 to see Disney’s new live-action ‘Beauty and the Beast’ on your own, because of what director Bill Condon has called the movie’s ‘exclusively gay moment’.

Reports emerged earlier this week that the movie could have been looking at a ban, with one MP, Vitaly Milonov of the United Russia party, branding it ‘shameless propaganda of sin’.

However, Vyacheslav Telnov, head of the Russian Culture Ministry’s film arm, has said that it will be released but with restrictions.

“We will issue the film distribution license without any problems. The minimum age is 16+,” he told the Kinopoisk website.

Children will be allowed to see the film, but only accompanied by an adult.

(Credit: Disney)

It follows news that a Christian-run cinema in Alabama, USA, has refused to screen the movie, over its depiction of Le Fou, who is gay in this new version of the story.

Owners of the Henagar Drive-In have said that customers are ‘free to come watch wholesome movies without worrying about sex, nudity, homosexuality and foul language’.

Director Bill Condon revealed the new direction for Josh Gad’s character, who realises he is enamoured with Luke Evans’ Gaston, in an interview with Attitude last week.

However, he’s since said that the issue has been ‘overblown’.

“Oh God. Can I just tell you? It’s all been overblown,” he told ScreenCrush. “Because it’s just this, it’s part of just what we had fun with.”

Asked what he hoped people would take from the scene, he adds: “To not make a big deal of it. Why is it a big deal?”

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