Beauty and the Beast is set for release in Malaysia, after Disney had originally pulled the movie following a disagreement with Malaysian censors over the film’s “gay moment”.
Director Bill Condon announced recently that the film would make history with Disney’s first “gay moment” as Josh Gad’s LeFou falls for Luke Evans’ Gaston.
But Malaysia agreed to only show the film if the “gay moment” was cut, which Disney refused to oblige:
“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,” said Abdul Halim (the chairman of the Malaysian film censorship board).
It was no huge surprise to hear the news as homosexuality in Malaysia is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Russia who also have strict laws on homosexuality, have given the movie a 16+ rating.
However, Malaysian censors seem to have changed their mind as the country’s cinema chains Golden Screens and TGV Cinemas confirmed that the film would be released without any cuts:
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST CONFIRMED FOR 30 MARCH WITHOUT CUTS. RT this and get excited! #BeOurGuest
— GSC (@GSCinemas) March 21, 2017
The Disney reboot has also caused controversy amongst many religious folk, which resulted in a petition to boycott the film, with over 135,000 signatures.
Much of the buzz surrounding Beauty and the Beast has been overshadowed by the backlash. But it certainly hasn’t affected business as it took over $350million at the box office worldwide in its first weekend, and it’s expected to make much more over the coming weeks.