Malaysia Reverses Decision On "Beauty and the Beast"

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The Walt Disney Co. said on Tuesday its movie Beauty and the Beast will open in Malaysia on 30 March without the cutting of a gay scene as had been ordered by film censors.

Censors wished to cut three specific scenes from the Disney movie, including one "during the performance of a song where a male character (Josh Gad's LeFou) hugs the other (Luke Evans' Gaston) from behind".

LPF chairman Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid had previously explained that the board had proposed cuts of four minutes and 38 seconds from the remake, after its director Bill Condon was reported as saying the live action contained Disney's "exclusively gay moment".

Disney's Beauty and the Beast, coming your way 30th March.

A "PG 13" rating means parental guidance is advisable for children aged below 13.

A movie chain, Golden Screen Cinemas, also tweeted that the movie would be shown uncut on that date in Malaysia.

There was no immediate comment from the board on the apparent reversal. The official, who declined to be identified because he wasn't authorised to speak to the media, said the appeal committee had different members than the earlier group that wanted the scene cut.

"Beauty and the Beast" even performed well in Russian Federation, where its opening was overshadowed by controversy surrounding the inclusion of a gay character. It has given Power Rangers - the first big-budget superhero movie to profile an LGBTQ protagonist - the green light.

Beauty And The Beast, the romantic fantasy film starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens in lead roles, has received a new release date in Malaysia. It is punishable by a prison sentence or corporal punishment.

Kuwait's National Cinema Company said Tuesday it would not be bringing the film back to audiences "in tandem with our values and responsibility toward our younger audiences".

The film releases in South African cinemas on Friday, 14 April.