Becky G plays Ranger Trini
The new Power Rangers movie has been slapped with an adult age restriction in Russia because one of the characters is questioning her sexuality.
In the film, Yellow Ranger Trini (played by singer and actress Becky G) is revealed to be bisexual or lesbian. It’s a minor plot point in the big screen remake of the popular 90s TV series, but it was a step too far for Russian censors.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, cinemas have been informed that the age restriction for the movie has been changed from 16+ to 18+. The move comes after politicians complained that the LGBTQ content was in conflict with the country’s law banning so-called “gay propaganda”.
Homophobic MP Vitaly Milonov, a long-standing thorn in the side of the LGBTQ community, lashed out at the superhero film and demanded that it not be screened in Russia at all.
“If fascist ideology is banned in our country, then [movies by] the likes of [Power Rangers director] Dean Israelite should be banned first thing,” he said. Milonov compared the inclusion of the LGBTQ character in the film to planting bombs inside childern’s toys.
Milonov’s attack on the film follows similar outrage about an LGBTQ element in the live action remake of Beauty and the Beast. In that film, the minor character of LeFou (Josh Gad) is briefly depicted as gay.
The controversy saw Russian censors giving the blockbuster a 16+ age restriction, which is unusual for a Disney movie.
In 2014, Milonov demanded that Apple CEO Tim Cook be banned from the country after the business leader came out as gay. In 2015, he called for Facebook to be blocked in Russia after the site introduced a feature allowing users to layer a rainbow over their profile pictures to show support for LGBT Pride.
Milonov is a vocal supporter of the 2013 law signed by President Putin prohibiting the promotion of “non-traditional” sexual relationships that could be seen by minors. The “gay propaganda” law effectively bars any expression or discussion of homosexuality in public, on television, in print or on the internet.