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Beauty And The Beast Screenings In Russia Will Have Age Restrictions

Earlier last week, news broke that the Russian government would allegedly be analyzing the upcoming Beauty and the Beast live-action film to assess if it was in breach of a 2013 law that prohibited the promotion of "gay propaganda" to children.

Due to the movie's inclusion of an openly gay character (a first for Disney) and an "exclusively gay moment" seen on screen, Russia's culture ministry has placed age restrictions on screenings of the film. The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that only viewers over the age of 16 will be admitted to see Beauty and the Beast in Russian theaters.

Today, the head of the culture ministry's film department Vyacheslav Tyelnov confirmed the rating: "We are issuing an exhibition license to the movie without any problems. The age restriction will be 16+."

This weekend, Russian legislator Vitaly Milonov and Russia's culture minister Vladimir Medinsky were in talks to possibly prohibit the film from being shown at all, as it may not fall in line with the recently-penned law. Milonov hasn't issued a statement to today's decision, but THR speculates that the ministry could begin questioning its exhibition license regulations, as Beauty and the Beast received a 16+ restriction but the law states that "any content involving gay characters can only be exhibited to people over 18 years of age."

Though it's somewhat of a relief to hear that the film won't be banned from the country entirely, it still puts a hindrance on the film's opportunity for fiscal success in Russia and is disappointing to know its inclusive content would ever be an issue.

Beauty and the Beast releases on March 17, which gives you plenty of time to rewatch the original animated film and its lesser-known Disney sequel before seeing Emma Watson and Dan Stevens in refreshed remake.