Disney Pulls Film in Malaysia After 'Gay Moment' Is Cut

Censors said scene 'inappropriate because many children will be watching'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 14, 2017 9:03 AM CDT
After 'Minor Cut,' Beauty and the Beast Shelved in Malaysia
People wait in queue at a cinema in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Tuesday.   (Daniel Chan)

First, Russia barred kids from seeing Disney's new movie Beauty and the Beast. Now, all of Malaysia may miss out, too. Disney has shelved the release of the movie in the mainly Muslim country, even though film censors approved it with a minor cut involving a "gay moment," reports the AP. The country's two main cinema chains say the movie, due to begin screening Thursday, has been postponed indefinitely. Film Censorship Board Chairman Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid says it's unclear why the film was postponed as it was approved by the board after a minor gay scene was axed. He says scenes promoting homosexuality were forbidden and that the film was given a P13 rating, which requires parental guidance for children under 13 years of age.

"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," Abdul Halim says. He adds there was no appeal from Disney about the decision to cut the scene. Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the Star newspaper cited Disney officials as saying the movie was postponed for an "internal review." The film's characters include manservant LeFou, who "is confused about his sexuality," according to director Bill Condon. Condon has described a brief scene as a "gay moment." In Malaysia, where sodomy is a crime, censors allow the depiction of gay characters only if they show repentance or are portrayed in a negative light. (Read more Malaysia stories.)

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