Russian Lawmaker Wants ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Banned for ‘Gay Moment’

Disney’s remake of “Beauty and the Beast” has been met with outrage and calls for an investigation in Russia, with a prominent lawmaker demanding it be banned over what the film’s director called a “gay moment.” Lawmaker Vitaly Milonov – one of the authors of the country’s controversial 2013 legislation outlawing “gay propaganda” – appealed to the culture minister for an investigation in a letter made public on Saturday. Noting that he’d heard one of the film’s sub-plots would be a gay relationship, Milonov condemned the “shameless propaganda of sin,” saying the film must be screened before it’s shown in Russia to ensure it complies with the country’s law prohibiting “elements of homosexual propaganda.” If it violates the law, he said, the government must “take measures to ban it.” In accordance with that law, anything that can be seen as promoting homosexuality to minors is forbidden. Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky said the film would be checked “as soon as we get a copy of the film with relevant paperwork for distribution.” The film, starring Emma Watson, Dan Stevens and Luke Evans, features Disney’s first gay character and love scene. Director Bill Condon said the character LeFou, a sidekick of the film’s antagonist, engages in an “exclusively gay moment.”