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Russia May Ban Live-Action 'Beauty And The Beast' Citing 'Propaganda Of Homosexuality'

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Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty
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Disney's long-awaited live-action Beauty And The Beast will premiere to audiences around the world in less than two weeks, and the film is noted to have a few Disney firsts: in addition to the Burbank-based studio's first interracial kiss (how controversial…), the film will also feature its first gay moment (how controversial…).

But if these two firsts seem yawnfully tame, and shamefully overdue, in 2017, well, we have some news for you.

According to a Deadline, a drive-thru theater in Henagar, Alabama, is refusing to show the film because of the suggestively gay character, Le Fou, played by Josh Gad.

"Le Fou is said to be Disney’s first gay character — and already stirring a bit of controversy in Alabama — but the inference is not overt and lands more into bromance territory than anything else," Pete Hammond wrote for Deadline.

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"I think along the way he starts to question things and that's an element that added a really beautiful complexity to his character," Gad told the Hollywood Reporter of his character's sexuality. "There's also, as I'm sure has been discussed over the last 24 hours, a lovely moment at the end of the film that I think I'll let speak for itself. Like many of the additions to this movie, I think it's a beautiful, subtle moment that does its job and is left alone. ...For 25 years, people have been asking this question about this character. What I would love to see is a moment when we no longer have to ask this question. I would love it if it weren't such a story."

But for the Alabama drive-thru, this was one bromance too far.

"When companies continually force their views on us we need to take a stand," the theater's owners posted in a statement to the drive-thru's Facebook page, according to the Hollywood Reporter. "We all make choices and I am making mine. If we can not take our 11 year old grand daughter [sic] and 8 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."

Well, a drive-thru in Alabama may be one thing, but what about the ninth-most populated nation on earth: Russia.

As the BBC reports, officials there are considering banning the film under the country's strict anti-homosexuality laws.

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"As soon as we get a copy of the film with relevant paperwork for distribution, we will consider it according to the law," Vladimir Medinsky, Russia's Cultural Minister, said. In 2013, Russia passed a law banning "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" to minors.

Vitaly Milonov, an MP with the United Russia, and colleague Alexander Sholokhov, are urging Cultural Minister Medinsky to "take measures to totally ban" should the film contain "elements of propaganda of homosexuality".