Entertainment & Arts

‘Beauty and the Beast’ pulled from Malaysian release after ‘gay moment’ censored


‘Beauty and the Beast’ pulled from Malaysian release after ‘gay moment’ censored

Luke Evans plays Gaston in "Beauty and the Beast." (Laurie Sparham)

Luke Evans plays Gaston in “Beauty and the Beast.” (Laurie Sparham)

When Disney’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast” debuts worldwide Thursday, Malaysia will no longer be among the invited guests.

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the company had shelved its plans for Malaysian release after film censors there approved the film after cutting out its so-called “gay moment.”

According to the chairman of the Film Censorship Board in Malaysia, Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid, scenes promoting homosexuality are banned in the country.

“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 Hamid told the Associated Press.

The censorship board does allow for the depiction of homosexual characters onscreen, but only if they are shown in a negative light or repent for their actions. 

In Malaysia, same-sex sexual activity is illegal and carries a punishment of whipping and up to 20 years in prison. 

Last week Russia approved showings of “Beauty and the Beast” for audiences ages 16 and above after concerns that the film might run afoul of the country’s anti-"gay propaganda” laws. 

“Beauty and the Beast” arrives in U.S. theaters Friday.

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