Disney pulls Beauty and the Beast showings in Malaysia over gay censorship row

Disney pulls Beauty and the Beast showings in Malaysia after state film board throws down gauntlet on gay moment

Disney have pulled all cinematic showings of Beauty and the Beast from Malaysia

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Disney has pulled new film Beauty and the Beast from cinemas in Malaysia after the entertainment giant was told by the state film board permission to remove a "gay moment."

The Film Censorship Board of Malaysia (FCBM), which oversees cinemas in the strict Muslim country, forbids movies from - in its words - promoting homosexuality. Same-sex relations are punishable with up to 20 years' imprisonment in Malysia.

In the new film, which stars Emma Watson and Dan Stevens as the titular characters, there is a scene described as a "gay moment" by its director Bill Condon.

It depicts manservant LeFou, the sidekick to main villain Gaston played by actor Josh Gad, having a moment of confusion over his sexuality. 

FCBM issued approval for a PG13 rating of the film as long as this scene was cut. 

According to The Guardian newspaper, no appeal was lodged against this decision, and the film now faces an internal review. 

Disney has not commented on the decision yet.