ByElise Jost, writer at
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Elise Jost

Who'd have thought making a live-action version of a classic would cause so much backlash? While the team behind the new have made a point of modernizing the story to make it feel fresh and relevant to 2017, whether it's by making Belle the inventor or revealing that LeFou is indeed gay, many fans weren't so pleased to hear that there'd be some crush waves riding the air between LeFou and Gaston.

If the cast thought they were done rolling their eyes at the poorly worded Twitter rants and other forms of online outrage, however, they might want to brace themselves for a reaction of another nature: Russia, whose law includes a charming bit of legislation against "gay propaganda," might just ban the movie altogether.

Providing Information To Minors About Homosexuality Is Considered Illegal In Russia

'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]
'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]

Since 2013, a Russian law against the "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" forbids anyone from providing information about the LGBT to minors, which would indeed apply to a gay kiss in a movie. Upon hearing that LeFou's character would be gay in Beauty and the Beast, MP Vitaly Milonov urged the government to verify the movie ahead of its March 16 release — and "take measures to totally ban it" if it was proven to include "elements of propaganda of homosexuality," which he likened to "shameless propaganda of sin."

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Culture minister Vladimir Medinsky promised to scrutinize the new Disney movie, so if LeFou and Gaston do kiss — let it be noted that not a single outraged critic has seen the movie yet — Russians can wave goodbye to seeing Beauty and the Beast in theaters.

"As soon as we get a copy of the film with relevant paperwork for distribution, we will consider it according to the law."

At this rate, it's almost surprising no one's getting shocked about the human-beast couple in the movie — or that no one noticed that LeFou was clearly smitten with Gaston in the 1991 animation.

'Beauty And The Beast' Is About 'Accepting People For Who They Really Are'

Thankfully, director Bill Condon has the perfect answer to the downright depressing reactions of homophobes around the world:

"I talked before about how we translate this into live-action. That means building out the characters. It's also a translation to 2017, you know? And what is the movie about? What has this story always been about for 300 years? It's about looking closer, going deeper, accepting people for who they really are."

If you can do that with the Beast but not with LeFou, then maybe you're the one who needs a magic mirror to tell you a few things about yourself.

"In a very Disney way, we are including everybody. I think this is for everybody, and on the screen we'll see everybody. And that was important to me."

'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]
'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]

Beauty and the Beast comes out March 17.

Do you think the live-action Beauty and the Beast can top the animated version?

(Sources: BBC News, People)


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