Conservative Russian Legislator Lauds 'Beauty and the Beast' Age Restriction

Courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc.
'Beauty and the Beast'

"The aim of this movie is to inoculate our children with new European standards of tolerance," he says about the film, limited in the country to people 16 and over, a rare restriction for a Disney movie.

Controversial Russian legislator Vitaly Milonov said Tuesday he was happy with the Russian culture ministry's decision to give Walt Disney's Beauty and the Beast a theatrical license, but ban people under the age of 16 from attending screenings.

"Only adults are capable of deciding whether they are interested in looking at some perverts," he told Russian radio station Govorit Moskva.

"The aim of this movie is to inoculate our children with new European standards of tolerance, so they would consider it to be normal," he went on to say. "But, thank God, the ministry took a civil, stately stand on the issue."

Milonov's comments mark a step back from his tougher stance last week on the movie, which includes a gay character. Back then, he insisted on special scrutiny of the movie to make sure it was in line with a controversial local law, which he penned years ago, "against gay propaganda among minors," which, incidentally, prohibits the exposure of people under the age of 18 to any gay-themed content. He also said last week that he did not rule out a "total ban" of the movie in Russia.

Meanwhile, the 16+ rating, unveiled Monday, will keep people under 16 from attending screenings of the movie. Such restrictions are very unusual for Disney movies in Russia. Last year, none of Disney's films released in the country had a 16+ rating.

For instance, Alice Through the Looking Glass and The Jungle Book were released with a 12+ age restriction, and the age restriction for Moana and Zootopia was 6+.

Disney's Russian office has not yet commented on the age restriction assigned to the film.

The restriction may have a negative impact on the movie's box office in the country, as it is seen as preventing a large part of Disney live-action movies' traditional viewers from watching it.