You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

'Beauty and the Beast' shelved in Malaysia despite approval

Associated Press logo Associated Press 3/15/2017 By EILEEN NG, Associated Press
UP NEXT
UP NEXT
People wait in queue to counter inside cinema at shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. Walt Disney has shelved the release of its new movie "Beauty and the Beast" in mainly Muslim Malaysia, even though film censors said Tuesday it had been approved with a minor cut involving a "gay moment." (AP Photo/Daniel Chan) © The Associated Press People wait in queue to counter inside cinema at shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. Walt Disney has shelved the release of its new movie "Beauty and the Beast" in mainly Muslim Malaysia, even though film censors said Tuesday it had been approved with a minor cut involving a "gay moment." (AP Photo/Daniel Chan)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Walt Disney shelved the release of its new movie "Beauty and the Beast" in mainly Muslim Malaysia after refusing to cut a gay scene to mollify film censors.

A man walks in front of the a movie advertising board at shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tuesday, March 14, 2017. Walt Disney has shelved the release of its new movie "Beauty and the Beast" in mainly Muslim Malaysia, even though film censors say Tuesday it has been approved with a minor cut involving a "gay moment." The country's two main cinema chains say the movie, due for screening Thursday, has been postponed indefinitely.(AP Photo/Daniel Chan) © The Associated Press A man walks in front of the a movie advertising board at shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tuesday, March 14, 2017. Walt Disney has shelved the release of its new movie "Beauty and the Beast" in mainly Muslim Malaysia, even though film censors say Tuesday it has been approved with a minor cut involving a "gay moment." The country's two main cinema chains say the movie, due for screening Thursday, has been postponed indefinitely.(AP Photo/Daniel Chan)

The studio said late Tuesday that the film "has not been and will not be cut" for release in Malaysia.

People walk under the giant screen inside cinema at shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. Walt Disney has shelved the release of its new movie "Beauty and the Beast" in mainly Muslim Malaysia, even though film censors said Tuesday it had been approved with a minor cut involving a "gay moment." (AP Photo/Daniel Chan) © The Associated Press People walk under the giant screen inside cinema at shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. Walt Disney has shelved the release of its new movie "Beauty and the Beast" in mainly Muslim Malaysia, even though film censors said Tuesday it had been approved with a minor cut involving a "gay moment." (AP Photo/Daniel Chan)

Screenings of the live-action re-telling of the animated classic was scheduled to begin Thursday. But the country's two main cinema chains said the movie has been postponed at Disney's request and it would refund patrons who had bought advanced tickets.

FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2017, file photo, actor Josh Gad, left, who plays manservant LeFou and Luke Evans who plays villain Gaston, pose during a promotional event for the movie "Beauty and the Beast", in Paris. Walt Disney has shelved the release of its new movie "Beauty and the Beast" in mainly Muslim Malaysia, even though film censors said Tuesday, March 14, 2017, it had been approved with a minor cut involving a "gay moment" between two characters in the film. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2017, file photo, actor Josh Gad, left, who plays manservant LeFou and Luke Evans who plays villain Gaston, pose during a promotional event for the movie "Beauty and the Beast", in Paris. Walt Disney has shelved the release of its new movie "Beauty and the Beast" in mainly Muslim Malaysia, even though film censors said Tuesday, March 14, 2017, it had been approved with a minor cut involving a "gay moment" between two characters in the film. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

Film Censorship Board chairman Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid earlier Tuesday said the film has been approved by the board after a minor gay scene was axed. He said scenes promoting homosexuality were forbidden and that the film was given a P13 rating, which requires parental guidance for children under 13 years of age.

"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 Halim told The Associated Press.

The film's characters include manservant LeFou, who plays the sidekick to the story's villain Gaston, and, according to director Bill Condon, "is confused about his sexuality." Condon has described a brief scene as a "gay moment."

Russia last week approved the movie but banned children under 16 from watching it without the accompaniment of someone over 16.

Malaysia's censors in 2010 loosened decades of restrictions on sexual and religious content in movies, but still kept a tight leash on tiny bikinis, kisses and passionate hugs.

The new rules allowed depiction of gay characters, but only if they show repentance or are portrayed in a negative light. Sodomy, even if consensual, is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and whipping in Malaysia.

AdChoices
AdChoices
AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon