Lionsgate’s “Saban’s Power Rangers” is designed to appeal to all ages — but that won’t happen in Russia, where the film received a last-minute rating change that will permit only viewers over 18 to see the movie.
“Power Rangers'” Russian distributor informed theaters on Friday that the film’s rating had been upped from 16+ to 18+. The move comes in the wake of comments from a hard-right legislator who ranted against the presence of a LGBTQ superhero — Trini, the Yellow Ranger — in director Dean Israelite’s action pic. The distributor provided no explanation for assigning the stricter age restriction.
Vitaly Milonov, who was the principal sponsor of a law that criminalized “homosexual propaganda directed toward minors” — and once said that the only things openly gay Apple CEO Tim Cook could offer Russia were “the Ebola virus, AIDS [and] gonorrhea” — called for “Power Rangers” to be banned on a conservative TV network.
“Power Rangers” is the second youth-targeted film this month to face pushback over its inclusion of LGBTQ themes, after Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” was initially banned in Malaysia over a “gay moment” toward the end of the film. The Malaysian government eventually relented, and allowed the film to enter the country without cuts.
“Beauty and the Beast” received a 16+ rating in Russia — unusual for a Disney movie — after Milonov asked the Culture Ministry to apply extra scrutiny to the film.