A Russian anti-gay group successfully got the screening of a new Korean boyband documentary banned.
It all started when fans of the hugely popular boyband BTS (Bangtan Boys) led grassroots social media campaigns to get the new film BTS World Tour: Love Yourself in Seoul shown in Russia.
More than 800 fans of the Korean boyband got Makhakala’s Cinema Hall to show a premiere screening of the new film. Makhachkala is the capital city of the Republic of Dagestan, Russia.
The movie theatre began selling tickets on 20 December.
But then Islamic conservatives got wind of the premiere and began flooding Dagestan social media with threats. This vocal group often speak out against things in the area that do not correspond with Islamic teachings.
According to one screenshot from md-gazeta.ru, one person warned it’s a ‘film about seven Korean homosexuals.’
Another said: ‘Urgently repeal debauchery.’ While another warned: ‘InShaa Allah, this concert will not leave your last event.’
The anti-gay outcry comes about, despite none of the seven members of the band openly identifying as LGBTI.
But as a result of the threats, Makhakala’s Cinema Hall canceled the premiere screening on 26 January.
When local media asked to confirm if the cinema will show the screening, they responded: ‘Not anymore.’
There are an estimated two million fans of BTS in Russia.
BTS nod to LGBTI community
BTS made LGBTI headlines last year when rapper of the group RM (born Kim Namjoon) posted about the gay coming-of-age movie Love, Simon.
RM posted a screenshot of the song Strawberries and Cigarettes by gay artist Troye Sivan. He captioned the photo simply with ‘It’s great.’
It sent LGBTI fans into a meltdown.
One fan wrote on Twitter: ‘Not to be too dramatic about this but namjoon openly supporting a gay song by a gay artist from a gay movie is uhhhhhhhhh Super Fucking Wonderful and really important.’