“Beauty and the Beast” is due to be released in Russia on March 16. However, Russian fans may not get to watch the live-action film, as the country may ban its screening over LeFou’s much-talked about “gay moment.” Russian officials have come under pressure to check if the re-imagining of the 1991 Disney classic violates a 2013 legislation, which prohibits “gay propaganda” among minors.
According to the BBC, Member of Parliament Vitaly Milonov urged Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky to screen the film before it hits theaters to check for any “elements of propaganda of homosexuality” and to “take measures to totally ban” it if any gay propaganda were found. Meanwhile, Medinsky vowed to take action if any homosexual propaganda were found in the movie.
Earlier this week, an Alabama theater announced that it would not be screening Bill Condon’s movie, after the director revealed that Josh Gad’s character, LeFou, has an “exclusively gay moment,” as he comes to terms with his real feelings for Gaston. Condon’s reveal has sparked a great deal of buzz online surrounding the film, which opens in the US on March 17.