Following a beef between The Walt Disney Co. and the country of Malaysia, which appeared to be resolved when film censors in the primarily Muslim nation agreed to allow the release of the new Disney movie “Beauty and the Beast” with just a minor cut, Disney has pulled the plug on the movie’s Malaysian release.
The AP reports that the movie, a live-action remake of the original animated feature, was scheduled to begin screening in the country on Thursday, with just a minor cut involving what censors called a “gay moment.”
“The studio said Tuesday that the film has not and will not be edited for release in Malaysia,” the AP reports.
“Film Censorship Board Chairman Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid said he did not know why the film was postponed as it was approved by the board after a minor gay scene was axed,” the AP adds. “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.”
Abdul Halim told the AP: “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.”
The report notes that Russia recently approved the movie but will not allow children under 16 to see it without being accompanied by someone 16 or older. The film has also encountered some resistance in the U.S.
“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 AP notes. “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.”