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Is this ban beastly?

09 Mar 2017 12:00am IST
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09 Mar 2017 12:00am IST
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With some theatres possibly looking to put a ban on the new film adaptation of the children’s classic ‘Beauty and the Beast’, due to its possible homosexual content, Café asks whether such a ban is too harsh

‘Beauty and the Beast’ has been an integral part

of most children’s childhoods, and has been a story

that they have grown up listening to, reading, and

even watching. The traditional fairy tale was written

by French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de

Villeneuve, and published in 1740. It has since been,

over time, abridged, rewritten, and published, first by

Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont in 1756 and by

Andrew Lang in 1889, to produce the version(s) most

commonly retold.

What made it go even more viral was the

1991 Walt Disney Feature Animation; a musical

animated film, directed by Kirk Wise and Gary

Trousdale, something that the film company slated

for this year as a remake. And though the 2017

version of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ looks destined to

become a blockbuster, the movie has been mired

in controversy since last week, when the film’s

director, Bill Condon revealed that the character of

LeFou would be shown questioning his feelings for

antagonist, Gaston. Condon has gone on to admit

that the film concludes with “a nice, exclusively gay

moment,” adding that, “LeFou is somebody who on

one day wants to be Gaston and on another day

wants to kiss Gaston. He’s confused about what he

wants.”

However, this has led to widespread backlash of

international proportions. For instance, the Russian

Culture Minister, Vladimir Medinsky has vowed

to take action against the movie, if it is found to

be in violation of the country’s controversial ‘gay

propaganda’ law. However, it has been stated that

Russia could merely mark it as age appropriate

and place restrictions on that basis. In similar vein,

Alabama’s Henagar Drive-In Theatre said it was

dropping ‘Beauty and the Beast’ from its spring lineup,

citing the movie’s ‘homosexual’ elements.

However, the question being asked here is

simply this. By banning a classic over homosexual

inferences, something that is considered acceptable

in the 21st century, by and large, are we taking our

bans and scrutiny too far?
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