Malaysian cinemas pull Disney's Beauty And The Beast despite 'gay moment' cut
Disney’s latest release Beauty And The Beast has been pulled from Malaysian cinema schedules after a “gay moment” was cut from the film.
The live-action version of the story which stars Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the beast had already had a scene edited out by Malaysia’s Film Censorship Board because it showed that one of the characters was gay.
But the film, which was due to be released in the country on Thursday, has now disappeared from listings with no explanation.
Film Censorship Board chairman Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid told the Associated Press he did not know why the film had been postponed as it was approved by the board after a minor gay scene was axed.
He said scenes promoting homosexuality were forbidden and that the film had been given a P13 rating, which requires parental guidance for children under 13 years of age.
He said: “We have approved it but there is a minor cut involving a gay moment. It is only one short scene but it is inappropriate because many children will be watching this movie.”
He said there was no appeal from Disney about the decision to cut the gay scene, while The Star English-language newspaper cited the Disney company as saying the movie was postponed for an “internal review”.
Character LeFou, played by Josh Gad, is the sidekick to the story’s villain Gaston and “is confused about his sexuality”, according to director Bill Condon, who also described a brief scene as a “gay moment”.
Russia last week approved the film but banned children under 16 from watching it.
Malaysia’s censors in 2010 loosened decades of restrictions on sexual and religious content in movies, but new rules only allow depiction of gay characters if they show repentance or are portrayed in a negative light.