More details have surfaced surrounding Disney's decision to pull Beauty and the Beast from Malaysian release, after local censors demanded cuts be made to the film's much publicised "gay moment".
Though, it turns out, the "minor cuts" the censors implied had been demanded appear to have been far more expansive in scope; with the board's chairman Abdul Halim telling New Sunday Times that, in fact, four minutes and 38 seconds worth of cuts had been proposed (via Deadline).
These cuts centered around three moments in particular; the first "during the performance of a song where a male character (Josh Gad's LeFou) hugs the other (Luke Evans' Gaston) from behind. Secondly is the suggestive song lyrics with sexual innuendos and the third is a scene that takes place at the end of the movie."
In Malaysia, gay sex is still considered a criminal offence which can lead to prison time; censors only allowing the depiction of gay characters if they are portrayed either negatively or as repentant. In Beauty and the Beast, Le Fou is depicted as clearly pining after the film's villain, Gaston.
Meanwhile, the film has still seen release in Russia, albeit with an 'adults only' rating; with one Christian cinema in the US cancelling all screenings of the film; claiming its customers were, "free to come watch wholesome movies without worrying about sex, nudity, homosexuality and foul language."
Little concern to Disney, with the film having already broken multiple box office records on its opening weekend, and looking very likely to breach the billion dollar mark by the end of its run.
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