Following the Malaysian government’s demand to cut out a “gay moment” from the remake of classic fairytale, Beauty and the Beast, Disney has announced that it will instead pull out the film from all theaters in the said country.
In an email sent to Bloomberg, Disney announced that Beauty and the Beast will not censor the groundbreaking scene (as far as Disney movies are concerned) just to appease the Malaysian government.
“The film has not been and will not be cut for Malaysia,” the email read.
The Malaysian Film Censorship Board has already given the film a PG-13 rating with the condition of cutting a four-minute “gay scene” involving the character LeFou (played by Josh Gad), man servant of villain, Gaston (Luke Evans).
“It is in our guidelines that we don’t allow L.G.B.T. activity in movies in Malaysia,” said Film Censorship Board Director, Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid. “They [Disney] are the ones not allowing the movie to be shown. We approved it with a minor cut.”
He mentioned that Disney could appeal to the board to leave the scene in but noted that Disney has not made one.
“Malaysia is looking forward to the film,” Hamid said. “The parents are looking forward to bringing the children. Even I, myself, look forward to bringing my grandchildren.”
Director Bill Condon recently spoke of LeFou’s character with Gaston, saying it will be a “nice, exclusively gay moment for a Disney movie.”
“LeFou is somebody who, on one day, wants to be Gaston and on another day, wants to kiss Gaston,” Condon said. “He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing he has these feelings.”
He also praised Josh Gad for making his scenes “something really subtle and delicious.”
“And that’s what has its pay-off at the end, which I don’t want to give away,” the director teased.
Beauty and the Beast will also star Emma Watson as “Belle” and will be released on March 17.