Russia will not ban “Beauty and the Beast” after all. The Russian culture ministry announced Monday that the ban will not happen; however, only viewers 16 and older will be allowed into screenings of the re-imagining of the 1991 Disney classic. “We are issuing an exhibition license to the movie without any problems,” said Vyacheslav Tyelnov, head of the culture ministry’s film department, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter. “The age restriction will be 16+.”
A 2013 legislation prohibits “gay propaganda” among minors. So, the country was considering a ban after director Bill Condon revealed that Josh Gad’s character LeFou has a “nice, exclusively gay moment” in the live-action film. Member of Parliament Vitaly Milonov had urged Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky to screen the film before it hit theaters, on March 16, 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 had vowed to take action if any homosexual propaganda was found in the movie.
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Last week, an Alabama theater announced that it would not be screening the movie, after hearing Condon’s “gay moment” reveal.