Disney Pulls Beauty And The Beast From Malaysian Theatres

Image: IMDB/Disney

Despite getting approval from Malaysian censors for a modified version of the film, Disney has pulled Beauty and the Beast from release in the Southeast Asian country.

Malaysia's two main theatres have confirmed that screenings of Beauty and the Beast have been suspended indefinitely. The move comes even though Disney submitted a version of the movie with a minor cut to a scene that involved "a gay moment".

"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 Abdul Hamid, chair of the Malaysia's Film Censorship Board, explained to AP. The scene is believed to involve Gaston's sidekick LeFou, who director Bill Condon said would have "a nice, exclusively gay moment" in an interview with Attitude.

Disney later told Bloomberg via email that Beauty and the Beast "has not been and will not be cut for Malaysia".

Sodomy is a crime in Malaysia to this day, and the country's censors have maintained strict restrictions on the depiction of same-sex relationships, characters and scenes in film and TV as a result. Regulations were eased seven years ago to allow gay characters to be shown, but they must be portrayed negatively or show repentance for their sexual identity.

Malaysia isn't the only country to impose restrictions on Beauty and the Beast. Russian censors have given the movie a 16+ rating, following petitions from a Russian MP to ban the film entirely over the inclusion of a homosexual character.


    and people are just going to pirate it anyways...

    Homosexuality is a crime - all well and good.
    Was the italian job banned because it had theft in it
    Was the dark knight banned because it had terrorism in it
    Was home alone banned because it had child abuse in it

    It's not as though the character is running around with their dick out forcing it into peoples asses every time he is on the screen. Have some consistency.

      (reposted because of the moderation bug)

      Not to defend Malaysian law, which I think is very regressive on this topic, but all of those films except Home Alone were intended for older audiences than Beauty and the Beast. The Italian Job was rated A and M respectively, Dark Knight was M. The reasoning the censors gave above is because children will be watching so the rating seems relevant.

      Home Alone (like Beauty and the Beast) was rated PG but I think it'd be hard pressed to find any child abuse in it, if anything it was the kid doing all the abusing. It also came out 27 years ago which is a little long to be arguing for consistency, Malaysian law may have changed since then.

      That said, I think banning Beauty and the Beast for something like this is inane.

        The movie hasn't been banned. Disney have made the decision to not release it.

          It was pulled because the directive from Malaysia's Film Censorship Board was that the scenes would need to be cut in order to be approved, which Disney doesn't want to do. The original uncut version was never approved (ie. refused classification), and unapproved films are banned by law in most countries, including our own. Our Classification Board doesn't maintain a 'banned films' list because all films that are refused classification are banned.

            I suspect that if it was a larger market than Malaysia then they'd have made the cut and released it. This is Disney, remember - the company that actually had Chinese censors on the set of Iron Man 3 to make sure that there was nothing there that would prevent that movie from getting released in China.

            It's pretty easy to pretend to have principles when it won't cost you any significant amount of money to do it.

          Thats the good way to say it. Malaysia refused the classify the movie and even said Walt Disney is submitting an edited version for rereview but that was all a lie apparently.

          Walt Disney never wanted to edit the movie and any country refusing the first review will not be getting the movie which is literally Malaysia banned it.

            This isn't accurate. Disney submitted an edited version of the movie to the censorship board, and the board approved it.

            It sounds like the higher ups at Disney found out about that later on, however, and determined that they wouldn't go ahead with any version of the film that wasn't the original.

              I'm pretty sure from all the sources I read, only the initial malaysia statement mentioned Disney submitted an edited version but Disney explicitly said “The film has not been and will not be cut for Malaysia"

              The Malaysia statement states that if Disney removed the 4 1/2 minute of the scene it will be approved with pg13.

              I do recall seeing the initial statement from Malaysia saying Walt Disney submitted a censor version but it has not been mentioned since.

              Seems weird that an edited version was made without approval and submitted for just one country.

                It's happened in the past where special versions of film/games have been submitted to regions as one-offs because of the way that country does things. Look at Fallout 4 and The Stick of Truth in Australia.

    Sodomy and homosexuality are not necessarily linked. There are gay couples out there who are not into that side of it.

      For sure, but Malaysia doesn't see it that way.

    I find it strange that they are worried about one little gay scene when the entire movie is basically about bestiality.

    By having it refused classification and not released because of the homosexuality contained in the film, Disney win points with progressives. Remember this is a studio that has been slammed for its non-progressive views, what better way to show that you are than a bit of free press over this scene.

    Homosexuality is also a crime throughout most of the middle east, so are they not going to release it there either?

      I think that would depend on whether the individual countries allowed it to pass without cuts.

      In addition, I read that Russia has allowed it through but with their equivalent of an MA or R rating (16+) which may limit its earning potential.

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