Russian officials are being pressured to ban Disney’s film for breaching the nation’s law against “gay propaganda.”
According to BBC News, “The live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast features Disney’s first every gay character and love scene.”
The “gay” scene in question involves the bumbling sidekick LeFou who seems to have a crush on Gaston. Due to this “exclusively gay moment,” the movie has been described by Russian officials as “shameless propaganda of sin.”
Russia passed legislation in 2013 that characterized homosexuality as “‘non-traditional sexual relations'” that were “alien to life in Russia.” The law forbids promoting “gay propaganda” to minors.
According to Conatus News, since the anti-gay propaganda law passed in 2013, there has been a surge of murders, kidnappings, and assaults on the LGBT community in Russia. Often, victims are lured to their attackers with the use of social media and dating apps.
Vladimir Putin has pushed for anti-gay legislation under his right wing socially conservative agenda. Like the Tsars preceding him, Putin garners support from the Russian Orthodox Church. Therefore, the Russian government’s anti-LGBT legislation “is part of a general lurch to the far right in Russian politics under Vladimir Putin.”
In addition to criticizing Disney’s film, Russian officials also proposed a ban back in 2015 of gay emojis.
The Russian government’s war on emojis and Disney proves just how concerned the Kremlin is with controlling the media.
“Ever since Vladimir Putin’s re-election as president for a third term in 2012, state TV has repeatedly sought to portray the acceptance of LGBT lifestyles as a disease of the decadent West.”
In addition to the first ever gay character, Beauty and the Beast also features the first ever interracial kiss in a Disney live-action film. The movie’s U. S. release date is March 17th.