Disney pulls Beauty And The Beast after cut in Malaysia
KUALA LUMPUR: Disney has indefinitely postponed the opening of its film Beauty And The Beast in Malaysia after censors reportedly cut out a "gay moment" in it.
The film's director Bill Condon has revealed that it contains Disney's "first exclusively gay moment", although some critics have said the reference is extremely mild and fleeting.
Malaysian Censorship Board (LPF) chairman Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid told The Star that the film "has been approved... with a minor cut" which focused on the "gay moment".
But notices posted at the Golden Screen Cinemas chain in Kuala Lumpur said the film's release had been "postponed by Disney until further notice".
Disney's office in Singapore was not immediately able to say when it would be released in Malaysia.
Mr Harussani Zakaria, the senior mufti for Malaysia's northern Perak state, said the film would "sow the seeds of destruction and negative behaviour in our society".
"We must guard ourselves from Western behaviour which has gone astray," he told AFP.
"This movie must be banned in Malaysia."
But Malaysia's Minister of Tourism and Culture, Nazri Aziz, has criticised the controversy: "You don't ban a film because of a gay character. We must allow people to decide for themselves."
The New Paper understands the movie will be screened in its entirety in Singapore despite some sections of the Christian clergy saying Disney had deviated from "wholesome, mainstream values".