Marvel’s Eternals, a PG-13 rated film in the United States, receives an 18+ rating in Russia, apparently due to the inclusion of LGBTQ + characters.
The Russian age classification system has officially declared Eternals, the next film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, will only be suitable for viewers aged 18 and over.
Kino Metro, a Russian agency based in Moscow that provides news services for the film markets, rated the MCU film as 18+. It’s a huge contrast to Eternals‘Motion Picture Association ranking PG-13 in the United States of America for “fantasized violence and action, some language and brief sexuality.” An 18+ rating in Russia is equivalent to an NC-17 rating in the United States, prohibiting anyone under the age of 18 from seeing the film in theaters. While the MPA (formerly the MPAA) is a non-governmental organization dedicated to self-regulating the American film industry, Russia’s media ratings are assigned and enforced by the government.
It is widely believed that one aspect of the film’s “brief sexuality” is what earned it an 18+ rating in Russia – specifically, that Phastos, the Eternal played by Brian Tyree Henry, is gay and has a partner he kisses in the film. The 2013 Russian law “to protect children from information advocating a denial of traditional family values,” more commonly known as the “gay propaganda law,” criminalizes any “normalization” of LGBTQ + identities towards children. Due to this law, games like The sims 4 and movies like Power rangers were rated 18+ for recognizing the existence of homosexuals. Some films that received a rating of 18+, such as Rocket man, had to cut scenes from LGBTQ + themed content in order to be approved for a Russian release of any kind.
It doesn’t look like Disney has cut Eternals‘LGBTQ + content, now Russia’s 18+ rating. In contrast, brief references to characters with same-sex partners in Forward and Avengers: Endgame were dubbed from their Russian versions – although End of Game still ended up with a 16+ rating, possibly due to different standards of violence. It also seems that Eternals‘The LGBTQ + story is much less ambiguous than that of 2017 The beauty and the Beast, who scored 16+ in Russia.
Censorship pressures in large international markets like Russia and China are often cited as a reason why big Hollywood blockbusters tend to avoid or downplay LGBTQ + representation. Eternals already faces the possibility of being banned in China due to director Chloe Zhao’s criticism of the country’s government in a 2013 interview.
Eternals hits theaters on November 5.
KEEP READING: Eternals Could Have One of the MCU’s Longest Run Times
Source: Kino Metro, via The Direct
Blofeld vs Blofeld: how each version of Bond’s biggest villain stacks up
About the Author