No sooner was it revealed that the live-action “Beauty and the Beast” includes the first openly gay character in Disney history than a drive-in theater in Alabama announced it won’t screen the film. Now it appears as if the objections could expand to overseas.
BBC News reports Russian government officials are calling for the remake of the 1991 animated classic to be banned if it violates that country’s controversial 2013 law that prohibits spreading of “gay propaganda” to minors.
Director Bill Condon revealed this week that Josh Gad’s LeFou, the sidekick of the villain Gaston, will have his own subplot that addresses the character’s sexuality. “LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” Condon said. “He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings. And Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that’s what has its payoff at the end, which I don’t want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”
Vitaly Milonov, a member of Russia’s parliament, urged Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky to screen “Beauty and the Beast” before its planned release in Russia to ensure it complies with the country’s laws. If Medinsky discovers “elements of propaganda of homosexuality,” Milonov said he should “take measures to totally ban” it.
“Beauty and the Beast” stars Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast, Luke Evans as Gaston, Kevin Kline as Mauricer, Josh Gad as Lefou, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, Audra McDonald as Madame Garderobe, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, and Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts. The film opens March 17 in North America, and, supposedly, March 16 in Russia.
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