Russia considering banning ‘Beauty and the Beast’ over “gay moment”

Director Bill Condon revealed earlier this week that the forthcoming film will feature Disney's first openly gay character

Russian officials are reportedly considering whether the country should ban the forthcoming Disney adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.

The film – the first live-action adaptation of Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s fairy tale – is a remake of Disney’s 1991 animated version, and will star Emma Watson as Belle. The film is set for release worldwide on March 17.

However, the release of Beauty and the Beast in Russia is currently in doubt as officials are investigating whether the content of the film violates the country’s 2013 law against “gay propaganda”.

Likely referring to the recently-announced news that the film will feature Disney’s first-ever openly gay character – director Bill Condon said one scene which features LeFou (played by Josh Gad) will be “a nice, exclusively gay moment” – one Russian MP branded it as “shameless propaganda of sin.”

Culture minister Vladimir Medinsky has said that a decision on Beauty and the Beast‘s release in Russia will be taken after it is formally checked by officials.

Speaking about the “nice, gay moment” in question, Condon revealed earlier this week more about the context of the scene.

“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” Condon explained. “He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realising that he has these feelings.”