US Cinema Bans 'Beauty and the Beast' Over Gay Character – and Russian Theatres Could Follow

Photo of Cassam Looch
Film Editor6 March 2017

The much-vaunted ‘gay moment’ in Disney’s live-action remake has caused a backlash in conservative America and potentially in Russia too. Now politicians and cinema owners are threatening to ban the movie entirely.

Director Bill Condon has announced that family favourite LeFou (played by Josh Gad in the upcoming film), is openly gay and in love with Gaston (the bullying cad of the story portrayed by Luke Evans). Our reviewer says the the hype around the moment is overblown, and is so fleeting that most viewers won’t even notice it, but even that seems to be too much for some.

A statement from Alabama’s Henagar Drive-In Theatre read: ‘If we cannot take our 11 year old grand-daughter and eight year old grandson to see a movie, we have no business watching it.

If I can’t sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me then we have no business showing it.’

The spokesman for the Christian cinema added: ‘When companies continually force their views on us we need to take a stand.

I know there will be some that do not agree with this decision. That’s fine. We are first and foremost Christians. We will not compromise on what the Bible teaches.’

The BBC has reported that Russian politicians are also outraged by the film. MPs believe that the film may breach their law which prohibits the spreading of ‘gay propaganda’ among minors, with 2013 laws describing homosexuality as ‘non-traditional sexual relations’, angering LGBT activists.

Russian culture minister Vladimir Medinsky has been urged to review the film before its planned release on March 16.