Walt Disney Pictures has postponed the release of Beauty and the Beast in Malaysia after film censors in the predominantly Muslim country edited out a “gay scene” in the film.
Director Bill Condon sparked controversy last month after he revealed that the highly-anticipated live-action remake would include a gay character and Disney’s first-ever “exclusively gay moment” onscreen. However, any scenes viewed as promoting homosexuality are strictly forbidden in Malaysia.
Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid, chairman of Malaysia’s Film Censorship Board, says a “short scene” was cut from the film.
“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 Hamid told the Associated Press.
Malaysia’s two main cinema chains said the movie had been postponed indefinitely, according to the Associated Press.
Disney told Malaysian newspaper The Star in an email that the film’s Thursday opening date was postponed due to an “internal review.”
Backlash befell Beauty and the Beast last week when a Russian lawmaker pushed for a ban of the remake, arguing that the film represents “blatant, shameless propaganda of sin and perverted sexual relationships.”
Russia officials approved the film for wide release but did give it a 16+ rating.
Beauty and the Beast, which opens in theaters March 17, has received a PG rating in North America. The film stars Dan Stevens, Emma Watson, Luke Evans, Ewan McGregor, and Josh Gad.