Walt Disney (DIS) has decided that it will simply pull its latest movie Beauty and the Beast from Malaysian distribution rather than allow the film’s so-called “gay moment” to be censored.
Contradicting earlier reports that the musical, starring Emma Watson, had already been censored, Disney told Bloomberg via email that “the film has not been and will not be cut for Malaysia.”
The Southeast Asian country’s Film Censorship Board had deemed over four minutes of the flick unsuitable, and had asked for those scenes to be cut, reports Bloomberg. The footage in question involves a subplot with a “gay moment,” the board’s chairman Abdul Halm Abdul Hamid told Reuters via text message.
According to Reuters, the bowdlerized Beauty and the Beast would have been given a P13 rating—meaning viewers under 13 have to be accompanied by a guardian at screenings.
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“Decision on classification and clearance was given a week ago. We are not aware of postponement. Hope they screen the film soon,” the chairman told Reuters before Disney’s principled stand was known.
Bill Condon, who directed the live-action remake of the 1991 animated classic, told Attitude magazine earlier this month that there would be an “exclusively gay moment” and a sexual orientation-related subplot surrounding the character LeFou, who is the sidekick of the main antagonist Gaston, in the movie.