Today, Beauty and the Beast hits global screens, but our neighbours up north won’t be able to catch it.
Just days before the official screening of Disney’s latest live-action remake of the classic Beauty and the Beast, Malaysia’s The Star reported that Disney has pulled the movie from Malaysian distribution indefinitely for an internal review.
This comes after the Malaysia’s Film Censorship Board slapped on a PG13 rating for the movie after requesting for scenes with a “gay moment” to be cut.
In an email to Bloomberg News, Disney confirmed that the film “has not been and will not be cut for Malaysia”.
This live-action remake of the Disney classic features a subplot where character LeFou expresses his affections for antagonist Gaston, and also dances with another man.
It appears that Malaysia is the only country that approved the movie with cuts.
Russia has approved the movie for viewers aged 16 and above, while an American drive-through cinema in Alabama banned the movie for it’s portrayal of the gay character.
Upset Malaysian netizens
Many Malaysian netizens were understandably upset, calling out Disney for pushing an ‘agenda’ at the cost of depriving an entire country of a movie, as seen from these comments on the Walt Disney Studios Malaysia Facebook page.
Passed without cuts in Singapore
Right here in Singapore, the film has been given a Parental Guidance (PG) rating without cuts, meaning that the film is deemed “suitable for all but parents should guide their young”. According to the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), Beauty and the Beast was rated PG for “mild portrayals of violence”.
The National Council of Churches, Roman Catholic Church of Singapore, and the Anglican Bishop have each issued advisories on the movie’s gay subplot, urging parents to guide their children when watching the film.
Spoiler alert: Turn your phone upside down to read all about the LeFou gay moments that transpired in Beauty And The Beast:
Top photo via Refinery29 and Walt Disney UK