Sunday 23 April 2017

Malaysia pulls 'Beauty and the Beast' over 'gay moment'

Emma Watson, who plays Beauty, attends a screening of 'Beauty and the Beast' in New York
Emma Watson, who plays Beauty, attends a screening of 'Beauty and the Beast' in New York
Actor Dan Stevens, who plays Beast, arrives at the screening with wife Susie Stevens

Katie Archer in London

Disney's latest blockbuster release 'Beauty And The Beast' has been pulled from Malaysian cinema schedules after a "gay moment" was cut from the film.

The live-action version of the story which stars Emma Watson and Dan Stevens had already had a scene edited out by Malaysia's Film Censorship Board because it showed that one of the characters was gay.

But the film, which was due to be released in the country tomorrow, has now disappeared from listings.

Film Censorship Board chairman Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid told the Associated Press he did not know why the film had been postponed as it was approved by the board after a minor gay scene was axed.

He said scenes promoting homosexuality were forbidden and that the film had been given a P13 rating, which requires parental guidance for children under 13 years of age.

He said: "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."

He said there was no appeal from Disney about the decision to cut the gay scene, while 'The Star' English-language newspaper cited the Disney company as saying the movie was postponed for an "internal review".

Character LeFou, played by Josh Gad, is the sidekick to the story's villain Gaston and "is confused about his sexuality", according to director Bill Condon, who also described a brief scene as a "gay moment".

Russia last week approved the film but banned under 16s from watching it.

Malaysia's censors in 2010 loosened decades of restrictions content in movies, but new rules only allow depiction of gay characters if they show repentance or are portrayed in a negative light.

Irish Independent

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