Overwatch comic containing a gay character is censored in Russia

Overwatch comic containing a gay character is censored in Russia
Jake Tucker

By Jake Tucker

December 21st 2016 at 2:50PM

Comic censored to avoid falling foul of infamous Russian "gay propaganda" laws

Yesterday saw the release of a new Overwatch comic. I haven't read it, although those that did immediately shared the biggest plot point: Tracer, the game's cover character and a fan favourite, is queer.

People around the world can view the comic now, except in Russia, where Tracer and her partner Emily sharing a kiss after exchanging Christmas gifts has seen the comic blocked on the Russian version of Overwatch's website.

It's not clear whether the Russian government have reached out about the comic, as they did regarding a recent pro-LGBTQ Ultimate Kit included in Fifa 2017, but it's more likely that Blizzard have chosen to self-censor to avoid falling foul of Russian law that has outlawed anything it deems to be "gay propaganda" that could be promoted towards minors. The rules are vaguely defined and mean that people can face imprisonment, deportation, fines or other punishments for anything that could be seen to be gay propaganda which sadly, includes this innocent comic and the single panel kiss between two consenting –– fictional –– adults.

Civil rights and pro-LGBTQ groups continue to protest the "Gay Propaganda" laws, which were put into place in 2013.