Beauty and the Beast pulled in Malaysia after 'gay moment' was cut

Josh Gad's Le Fou is depicted in the film as pining after the film's villain, Gaston


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Though Disney's Beauty and the Beast was finally allowed release in Russia, albeit with an 'adults only' rating, it appears as if Malaysia has taken more extreme actions against the film.

The country's official censors approved release after cutting the film's well-known "exclusively gay moment", with the film originally scheduled for release on Thursday, yet it appears now to have disappeared from local listings, according to Variety.

Popular theatre chain Golden Screen Cinemas stated on its website that the film "has been postponed by Disney until further notice"; with Malaysian news site The Star Online quoting Disney's Malaysian branch as stating the release had been delayed pending an "internal review"; with the company's Malaysian website still listing Beauty and the Beast as "coming soon".

"We have approved [the movie], 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," board chairman Abdul Halim told The Associated Press, stating that he did not know why the film had been shelved. 

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. Beauty and the Beast's Le Fou (Josh Gad) is depicted as clearly pining after the film's villain, Gaston. 

Beauty And The Beast - Trailer 3

The news also saw one Christian cinema in the US cancel all screenings of the film; claiming its customers were, "free to come watch wholesome movies without worrying about sex, nudity, homosexuality and foul language." Likely of little concern to Disney, with the film on track to make a killing at the box office. 

Beauty and the Beast opens in UK cinemas 17 March.