Russia has censored the "historic" LGBTQ scene in Disney's Onward
5 March 2020, 13:30 | Updated: 7 March 2020, 19:24
Disney's new animated movie, Onward, follows the story of two teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley, who go on an adventure to find magic which will allow them to spend one last day with their father, who died when they were too young to remember.
As everyone prepares to cast their judgements on Disney Pixar's latest animated movie, Onward, the movie, which features the brands first LGBTQ character is already facing controversy, with the film reportedly being censored in Russia.
Actress Lena Waithe voices Officer Specter, a cyclops police officer who also happens to be a lesbian. Her character or story is by no means explicitly to do with her sexuality and more just a nod to her as a person, but fans who have been to preview screenings in Russia, are claiming that lines have been changed to erase her identity.
In the movie, which also stars Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, Officer Specter briefly mentions her girlfriend, a line which Russian film fanatics claim has been changed to simply "partner" - which avoids implying whether she has a girlfriend or a boyfriend - a seemingly big move for a character that literally appears in one scene.
Oh btw, there's no mention of that cyclops from #Onward being a lesbian in the Russian dub. @Disney are so inclusive, damn, if only there was a gay character with more than one line so that Russia and China couldn't just remove them:) #OnwardPixar— Garrus ❤Lovebruary❤ Vakarian (@Buckmenstaf) March 2, 2020
Unfortunately, this is still common practise for many parts of the world, and Russia has previously been known for anti-LGBTQ film censorship, so this wouldn't be the first or last time something like this has happened.
When Elton John's Rocketman was released, all sex scenes were removed from the film, and Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has even previously called for an amendment to laws in the country, that would state that marriage is supposed to only be between a woman and a man.
Fans are also rallying together to blame Disney for the censorship, insisting that if Officer Specter wasn't such a minor character in the film (or as they call it, a clout chasing), it would be more difficult for countries with anti-LGBTQ laws to remove them.
Despite this set back, along with viewers unhappy that the first "openly gay" character isn't even human, the film has so far got a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 87%. Not bad.
With Onward being released in cinemas on 6th March, everyone is interested to see how its mystical storyline will fair against Disney's other classics.
Watch your back, Frozen.