The Cable

Russian Lawmaker Wants to Ban ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Because of a Gay Scene, Which, Hmm …

Tale as old as time.


Russian lawmaker Vitaly Milonov, who was caught shopping for embargoed fish in Finland just last month, said on Monday that the new version of Beauty and the Beast should be banned under the 2013 law against “homosexual propaganda.” Milonov was one of the champions of that law.

Why ban Beauty and the Beast? Because the film’s director, Bill Condon, said that Gaston’s sidekick, LeFou, would give the film an “exclusively gay moment”. (Condon has since said “it’s all been overblown.”)

Milonov petitioned the Russian Ministry of Culture to ban the film, which he has not seen. “In this case, society cannot be silent about what film distributors are offering under the guise of a children’s tale,” namely, “the obvious, blatant, shameless propaganda of sin, of perverted sexual relations,” he wrote in a letter to the ministry. “Our common task is to stop this music film from being shown on screens one way or another,” he added.

The Ministry of Culture has not yet issued a ruling for the film, set to be released in Russia March 16. It would not be the first to decide not to run it — a drive-in theater in Alabama already made that call. But here are a few things it may want to consider:

First, if one is concerned that this film’s “exclusively gay moment” will serve as homosexual propaganda, one should probably note that the exclusively gay character is a villain’s henchmen, and also that his name literally means “the fool.”

Second, one should also note that the film is the story of a man who, after not letting a magical stranger into his abode, is turned into a nonhuman animal while his live-in servants are turned into inanimate but talking objects. They all then bring into their custody a human woman who, possibly displaying symptoms of Stockholm syndrome, falls in love with a — again, nonhuman — animal whom she quite literally knows only as “Beast.”

And thirdly Milonov may have put forth a ruse to try to make up for the Finnish fish incident. After all, in the noted scene “Be Our Guest,” the foods displayed are almost certainly not permitted under Russian patriotic food sanctions.

Photo credit: OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images

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