Russia’s Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky said measures would be taken to prevent the release of the new Disney film “Beauty and the Beast” starring Emma Watson in the role of Belle. The film is considered by MP Vitaly Milonov to promote gay propaganda.
In 2013, Vladimir Putin signed a law that prohibited giving minors information about homosexuality, although homosexuality was decriminalised in Russia in 1993. According to activists, this law has resulted in an increase in attacks against homosexuals and has led to a surge in homophobia.
Milonov said that film distributors would use the children’s tale as a cover to spread perverted ideas about sexual relations. The film is to be sent to the culture ministry to be checked for violations against the law because it features the first gay character, LeFou, a side character, in a Disney film. LeFou is struggling to accept his feelings for his friend Gaston, the Beast’s rival, creating a single gay moment which gave rise to parents’ concerns about the safety of children. The film is to be released in Russia on 16 March, coinciding with the start of spring vacation for school children in Russia.