Marvel's Eternals Gets Mature Rating in Russia | CBR – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Marvel’s Eternals, a film rated PG-13 in the United States, receives an 18+ rating in Russia, seemingly due to the inclusion of LGBTQ+ characters.
The Russian Age Ratings System officially declared Eternals, the next film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, to only be suitable for viewers ages 18 and over.
Kino Metro, a Russian agency based in Moscow that provides information services for film markets, listed the MCU film as 18+. This is a huge contrast to EternalsPG-13 rating from the Motion Picture Association in the United States of America for “fantasy violence and action, some language and brief sexuality.” An 18+ rating in Russia is equivalent to an NC-17 in the United States, prohibiting anyone under 18 from being able to see the movie in theaters. Whereas the MPA (formerly the MPAA) is a non-governmental organization meant to self-regulate the American film industry, Russia’s media ratings are assigned and enforced by the government.
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It is widely speculated that an aspect of the film’s “brief sexuality” is what gave it an 18+ rating in Russia — specifically, that Phastos, the Eternal played by Brian Tyree Henry, is gay and has a partner whom he kisses in the movie. Russia’s 2013 law “for the Purpose of Protecting Children from Information Advocating for a Denial of Traditional Family Values,” more commonly referred to as the “gay propaganda law,” criminalizes any “normalization” of LGBTQ+ identities to children. Because of this law, games like The Sims 4 and movies like Power Rangers have been rated 18+ for acknowledging the existence of gay people. Some movies that received an 18+ rating, such as Rocketman, had to cut out scenes of LGBTQ+-themed content in order to get approved for a Russian release of any kind.
It does not seem Disney has cut Eternals‘ LGBTQ+ content, maintaining Russia’s 18+ rating. In contrast, brief references to characters having same-sex partners in Onward and Avengers: Endgame were dubbed out of their Russian releases — though Endgame still ended up with a 16+ rating, presumably due to different standards around violence. It also seems that Eternals‘ LGBTQ+ storyline is far less ambiguous than that in 2017’s Beauty and the Beast, which got a 16+ rating in Russia.
The pressures of censorship in major international markets like Russia and China are often cited as a reason why major Hollywood blockbusters tend to avoid or minimalize LGBTQ+ representation. Eternals already faces the possibility of being banned in China due to director Chloe Zhao’s criticisms of the country’s government in an interview from 2013.
Eternals comes to theaters on Nov. 5.
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Source: Kino Metro, via The Direct
Reuben Baron is a writer, filmmaker, critic and general nerd with a particular interest in animation. He is the author of the ongoing webcomic Con Job: Revenge of the SamurAlchemist, adapted from one of his contest-placing screenplays. In addition to writing for Comic Book Resources, he has also had articles published on JewishBoston, Anime News Network, Anime Herald and MyAnimeList. Follow him on Twitter at AndalusianDoge.

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