Budapest Production of “Billy Elliot” Cancelled Due To Homophobic Backlash

Budapest, Hungary is one of the most gorgeous cities you’ll ever visit. The Parliament building lit up at night is a sight you’ll never forget. Unfortunately, the conservative government’s views on homosexuality are an antiquated disaster. 

The Hungarian National Opera was forced to cancel 15 performances of the musical Billy Elliot in response to a conservative news site bashing the show and labeling it “rampant gay propaganda.” 

A report published on the government-promoting site Magyar Idok—think Fox News but in Hungary—  "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 site also stated that Billy Elliot threatened “traditional” families and other conservative values.

"Our government is trying to … help family prosperity with a lot of tools and money, so it's inexplicable and intolerable that a leading state institution is going against this intention and that it makes quite a few youngsters miserable, who would have not gone this direction by themselves."

Szilveszter Okovacs said in a statement that the harsh response from the media and Hungarian government led to a sharp decline in ticket sales, forcing the show’s producers to pull the plug.

With music by Elton John, and book and lyrics by Lee Hall, Billy Elliot: The Musical is an adaptation of the 2000 movie about a boy becoming a professional ballet dancer in northeastern England during the 1984-85 coal miners’ strike. The Broadway production won ten Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

It’s worth mentioning that the National Opera’s production of this musical had already cut the only homosexual character, Billy’s friend Michael. But that didn’t stop the controversy. Clearly.

CNN reached out to the office of right-wing Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to ask if they had a part in the takedown. As of this writing, CNN hasn’t reported any reply.


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