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Russia gives new 'Beauty and the Beast' film a 16+ rating

Associated Press logo Associated Press 3/7/2017
This image released by Disney shows Luke Evans as Gaston, left, with Josh Gad as LeFou, in "Beauty and the Beast." (Laurie Sparham/Disney via AP) © The Associated Press This image released by Disney shows Luke Evans as Gaston, left, with Josh Gad as LeFou, in "Beauty and the Beast." (Laurie Sparham/Disney via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's Culture Ministry has given the green light to the release of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" movie despite protests over a gay character.

This image released by Disney shows Emma Watson as Belle, right, and Kevin Kline as Maurice in a scene from "Beauty and the Beast." (Laurie Sparham/Disney via AP) © The Associated Press This image released by Disney shows Emma Watson as Belle, right, and Kevin Kline as Maurice in a scene from "Beauty and the Beast." (Laurie Sparham/Disney via AP)

The ministry told The Associated Press on Tuesday that it has granted a screening license to the film with a 16+ age restriction.

This image released by Disney shows Dan Stevens as The Beast, left, and Emma Watson as Belle in a live-action adaptation of the animated classic "Beauty and the Beast." (Disney via AP) © The Associated Press This image released by Disney shows Dan Stevens as The Beast, left, and Emma Watson as Belle in a live-action adaptation of the animated classic "Beauty and the Beast." (Disney via AP)

The decision comes several days after Vitaly Milonov, a lawmaker known for his extreme right views, petitioned the ministry to ban it. In a letter released by the RIA Novosti news agency on Saturday, Milonov protested against the screening of a movie that disseminates "overt and shameless propaganda of sin and sexual perversion under the guise of a fairy tale."

The film will be released later this month.

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