In what’s turned out to be a happy ending, the live action remake of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is being released in Malaysia with its so-called ‘gay moment’ intact.
Disney had pulled the movie after discovering that the certification board was happy to release the film with a PG13 rating, but only if the scene was cut.
Yesterday, Malaysian cinema chains Golden Screens and TGV Cinemas confirmed that the film would be on general release without any cuts.
News emerged last week that the LPF, the Malaysian censorship board, was insisting that the brief moment, involving Josh Gad’s character Le Fou, be removed before release.
Disney later said that the film ‘has not been and will not be cut for Malaysia’.
So far the studio has not commented on the latest development, but it was after director Bill Condon highlighted the ‘gay moment’ in the movie during an interview with Attitude magazine.
Since his remarks, Russia also gave the movie a PG13 certificate, meaning that young children would not be allowed to see the movie unaccompanied.
In an interview with the New Straits Times, Malaysian censorship board chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid clarified the situation.
“Maybe if Condon had not mentioned the ‘gay element,’ people wouldn’t be so curious and we could let it go with a potentially minor cut,” Hamid said.
“Some parents already emailed their concerns to me when they heard that Russia planned to revise viewers rating for the movie, to allow only mature audiences. In Alabama, United States, the movie has also rubbed people the wrong way with many denouncing its overt gay agenda.
“And this whole thing may not have been an issue. Malaysia does not recognize the LGBT ideology. So we have to be extra cautious in our work. We have our responsibilities to the country, the people and our constitution.”
There’s no word yet on how and why the decision appears to have been reversed.
The movie has done astonishing business so far, opening to a worldwide gross last weekend of over $350 million.