Popcorn Books is in a shambles
Against the book publishing house Popcorn Books, which published, in particular, the novel “Summer in a Pioneer Tie” about the relationship between two young men, an administrative case was opened on LGBT propaganda.
Another case was initiated under the article “petty hooliganism”.
The first case in Russia under a new administrative article on the promotion of “non-traditional sexual relations and (or) preferences, gender reassignment” (Article 6.21 of the Code of Administrative Offenses) was initiated against Popcorn Books on December 28. This happened after a complaint from Alexander Khinshtein, about which the State Duma deputy himself spoke in his Telegram channel. Another administrative proceeding was initiated under the article on petty hooliganism (Article 20.1 of the Code of Administrative Offenses).
“I hope that the case will be brought to court and that Popcorn Books, which has openly challenged the state, will get what it deserves,” Khinshtein writes.
Among other things, he calls the publishing house one of the “flagships for the promotion of LGBT literature in Russia.” “After our laws banning LGBT propaganda came into force in December, Popcorn Books not only continued to sell such books, but also defiantly began to decorate their covers with quotes from Article 29, which guarantees freedom of speech and prohibition of censorship,” recalls the deputy.
Vladimir Putin signed into law a total ban on “LGBT propaganda” in Russia on 5 December. The document introduces heavy fines (up to 10 million rubles for legal entities) for “propaganda of non-traditional relations.” In fact, the mention of LGBT was banned. In response, bookstores across Russia have begun to hide books that contain the topic of same-sex relationships.
Popcorn Books in 2021 for the first time released the book “Summer in a Pioneer Tie”, which tells about the romantic relationship of a pioneer and a counselor. The book was repeatedly criticized and demanded to be banned by the “patriots” led by Zakhar Prilepin. According to their statements, Roskomnadzor conducted an inspection (but did not find violations).
After the new law came into force, Popcorn Books changed the covers of LGBT novels on its website – all of them have a link to article 29.5. Constitution of the Russian Federation: “Freedom of the mass media is guaranteed. Censorship is prohibited.” Now the books have been removed from the site, but the mention of the authors remains.