UPDATE: Russia won’t be banning Disney’s Beauty and the Beast live-action remake after all — but younger viewers will have to wait to see the film.
A Russian lawmaker pushed for the film to be banned after news broke that one of the supporting characters, Josh Gad’s LeFou, is gay. Instead, the country’s culture ministry announced Monday that the movie will have a 16+ rating, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Viewers under 16 years old will not be admitted to screenings.
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The live-action reboot, which makes history with the first known LGBTQ character in a Disney princess film, risks being banned under a draconian 2013 law that prohibits the spreading of “gay propaganda” among minors.
According to Russian news outlet Ria Novosti, State Duma deputy Vitaly Milon wrote a letter to culture minister Vladimir Medinsky urging him to take action against the remake if it is found to have “elements of propaganda of homosexuality.”
The ministry has yet to make a ruling on the film, starring Emma Watson, which is due to open in Russian cinemas on March 16. Beauty and the Beast director Bill Condon has said the character LeFou has an “exclusively gay moment” in the film, CNN reports.