Beauty and the Beast: Malaysia finally agrees to release film uncut, albeit with a PG-13 rating

Four minutes and 38 seconds of cuts had initially been proposed by the board, which led to Disney pulling the film from release in the country

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Malaysian censors have now seemingly allowed Beauty and the Beast to be released uncut in local cinemas. 

However, Variety reports the film now faces a PG-13 rating in the country due to its higly publicised "gay moment", in a move similar to Russia's release of the Disney live-action remake being slapped with an 'adults only' ratings; with the film now set for Malaysian release on 30 March. 

This follows Disney initially pulling the film from release in Malaysia after the studio refused to cut what had been originally demanded by the censors as over four minutes of the film

The 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. 

Beauty And The Beast Clip - Gaston

Meanwhile, one Christian cinema in the US cancelled 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.

Beauty and the Beast is out now.