It’s a happy ending for the dispute over Malaysia’s censorship of Beauty and the Beast, with Disney announcing that the film will now be shown at cinemas across the country with no cuts.
Disney previously pulled its blockbuster from the country after Malaysian censor’s moved to only permit it to be shown with the film’s LGBT character edited out.
“We are pleased to announce that Disney's Beauty and the Beast has now been approved to be released in Malaysia with no cuts, with a PG13 rating”, the Walt Disney Co.’s Malaysia division said in a brief statement.
No details were provided, but, yesterday, Malaysia’s major chain Golden Screen Cinemas excitedly tweeted that it would be showing the film from 30 March “WITHOUT CUTS”.
It’s a small but positive step for Malaysia, where 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.
The proposed 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."
A government official said the censoring reversal came about after an appeal committee reviewed the film and decided that the scenes weren't offensive.
Beauty and the Beast, which is breaking box office records worldwide, was approved in Russia but only for viewers over the age of 16 or accompanied by someone who is.Reuse content