Disney pulls Beauty and the Beast from Malaysia

“Controversy” over the live-action Beauty and the Beast carries on. Released this past Friday in theaters everywhere, the remake is a wild financial success for Disney as it opened to a historic $170 million debut.

The new Beauty and the Beast contains a few suggestively gay scenes. While the specific parts are a speck on the radar of a gigantic film, countries with different cultures see problems. For example, numerous media outlets reported on the possibility of Russia censoring the movie. Eventually, Russia ended up slapping on the “16 and over” label.

Unfortunately, the controversy spilled over onto the Malaysia censorship board too. They hoped to make minor edits before releasing the film in their country’s theaters. Yet, Disney refused.

An interview with Malaysia censorship board chairman Abdul Halim found on New Sunday Times (via Deadline) revealed the concerns.

“Malaysia does not recognize the LGBT ideology,” Halim said.

“So we have to be extra cautious in our work. We have our responsibilities to the country, the people and our constitution. If we let these scenes pass, people will wonder if Malaysia recognizes LGBT.”

Another article from the New York Times described one of the problematic scenes:

“The Film Censorship Board of Malaysia recently ruled that a shot involving two male characters dancing in a ballroom must be cut from the movie, on the grounds that it promotes homosexuality. The sequence is said to be three seconds long.”

In response, Disney decided to postpone the Malaysia release rather than cut the film. The company released a written statement saying, “The film has not been and will not be cut for Malaysia.”

Most Beauty and the Beast fans are applauding the decision.

While Disney is facing pressure from religious groups to stop their “LGBT agenda,” the company is sticking to its principles. In any case, Beauty and the Beast is on its path to a long run in theaters.

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