entertainment

Russian distributors censor Disney's first LGBTQ character in new film 'Onward'

The character is voiced by Lena Waithe

2020-02-28

Words: Steve Brown

Russian distributors have censored Disney’s first LGBTQ character in their latest film Onward.

The new film – which features the voices of the likes of Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Ali Wong, Octavia Spencer and Lena Waithe – is set to hit cinemas next month.

Waithe – who is best known for starring in Masters of None – will be lending her voice to Disney Pixar’s first ever openly LGBTQ character in an animated film.

In the film, Waithe’s character, Officer Specter, reportedly makes explicit reference to her girlfriend.

And although this is a positive step forward with representation in a Disney film, it appears Russian distributors have an issue with the character.

According to movie website Kinopoisk.ru, those who have seen the film in Russian claim the word ‘girlfriend’ has been changed to the more neutral ‘partner’ and avoids mentioning Specter’s gender.

 “Presumably, Disney’s Russia branch tried to avoid unnecessary problems with the anticipated project’s release,” the website wrote.

This marks the third time Russian authorities have censored any mention of the LGBTQ community since Vladimir Putin passed a controversial law banning “homosexual propaganda” to minors.

Watch the trailer for Onward below: