Some 'Billy Elliot' shows canceled in Hungary for being 'gay propaganda'

Posted by On 8:01 PM

Some 'Billy Elliot' shows canceled in Hungary for being 'gay propaganda'

"Billy Elliot" has been an artistic and financial success for the Erkel Theatre in Budapest, Hungary.

More than 100,000 people have seen the musical, according to the Hungarian State Opera, which runs the theater. Revenues from "Billy Elliot" has allowed the Opera to found a ballet school.

But now, the remaining scheduled performances of "Billy Elliot," based on a successful British movie and adapted by Sir Elton John, have been canceled.

The hero of the show, a working class boy from a small English mining town, dreams of becoming a ballet dancer instead of a boxer and refuses to let anti-gay prejudice stop him.

PHOTO: Placards of the Hungarian National Opera in Budapest are pictured, June 21, 2018.
Placards of the Hungarian National Opera in Budapest are pictured, June 21, 2018.

But for the Hungarian ruling Fidesz Party, that’s apparently the problem. An op-ed in the right wing publication Magyar Idok accused the show of “promoting homosexuality.”

(MORE: The worst crime against the gay community you've never heard of -- until now) (MORE: Here are the 27 countries where same-sex marriage is officially legal)

The June 1 attack piece denounced the “scandalous show” because "the propagation of homosexuality cannot be a national goal when the population is getting older and smaller and our country is threatened by invasion."

The column was written by Zsofia N. Horvath, a name Hungarian reporters have been unable to verify, and some suspect is a pseudonym.

The next day, Szilveszter Okovacs, the head of the Hungarian State Opera, defended the show.

“Showing something which is an undeni able part of life,” he said, “doesn’t mean you are propagating it.”

PHOTO: The Hungarian National Opera in Budapest is pictured, June 21, 2018.
The Hungarian National Opera in Budapest is pictured, June 21, 2018.

But Okovacs, who was appointed to his position by Prime Minister Orban, announced the show would close 15 of its performances citing low demand for tickets. But Erika Hars, a Budapest theater-lover, told ABC News that the show was very successful and that it has been especially difficult to book seats since the controversy began.

PHOTO: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban delivers his speech during a press conference at a meeting of the Visegrad Group (V4) in Budapest, Hungary, Jun   e 21, 2018.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban delivers his speech during a press conference at a meeting of the Visegrad Group (V4) in Budapest, Hungary, June 21, 2018.
Source: Google News Hungary | Netizen 24 Hungary

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