Marvel’s Eternals Gets Mature Rating in Russia

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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.


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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.

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Source: Kino Metro, via The Direct

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