The Hungarian State Opera House has canceled 15 performances of the musical Billy Elliot after ticket sales plummeted, due to an attack on the musical for promoting a "deviant way of life."
An op-ed in Magyar Idok earlier this month believes the story of Billy Elliot, which stars an English boy of the same name who forgoes boxing to pursue his passion of ballet, "could turn children gay."
The op-ed also stated, "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 director-general of the opera house, Szilveszter Okovacs, wrote a rebuttal in Magyar Idok, arguing that "showing something which is an indisputable fact of life does not mean you are propagating it. One can be gay and conservative at the same time."
In fact, since 2016, the Hungarian State Opera House has performed Billy Elliot 90 times to more than 100,000 people.
Alas, the damage had already been done. Okovacs, told the independent Hungarian website 444.hu, "As you know, the negative campaign in recent weeks against the Billy Elliot production led to a big drop in ticket sales, and for this reason we are cancelling 15 performances in line with the decision of our management."