Disney’s Beauty and the Beast’s gay moment will not be deleted from the film, posing the question if Malaysia shall still allow the film to air. A request was made by the Film Censorship Board in Malaysia asking Disney to cut out the scene. However, Disney has declined to alter the film for Malaysia and has left it to Malaysia to decide whether they should release the remake or not.
Homosexuality in Malaysia is frowned upon and there are strict laws against it. The country allows homosexual scenes in films as long as the characters eventually repent for it.
The ban may not necessarily affect the film as Malaysia is a small addition to the market and Beauty and the Beast is set to make a lot of money globally after its box office debut.
Malaysia And More Take Issue With The Film
Beauty and the Beast hasn’t just been frowned upon in Malaysia, other countries like Singapore and Russia have taken issue with the film. Alabama and Hong Kong also had views toward the moment due to the scene which has been said to be a very small part of the movie overall.
In Hong Kong, colonial anti-homosexual laws were revoked. However, an anti- gay group has submitted a petition to change the classification made for the film, as it’s currently PG.
Malaysia’s Film Censorship Board is known to censor or ban international films as its laws may not allow the content that is being shown to its citizens.
In one of the drive-in theaters in Alabama, it said that it would screen Beauty and the Beast and that companies continually forced their views on them. They said that they needed to make a stand and that they would not compromise on what the Bible teaches. The rest of the statement said that they would continue to show family-oriented films and that by going there, audiences wouldn’t be worried about sex, nudity or homosexuality as it had wholesome movies.
Russia decided to classify the movie as appropriate for any one above the age of 16, but it had considered banning the movie altogether.
Singapore had strong views and was apparently concerned about the depiction of an LGBTQ character in the Disney movie. Apparently believing that the movie was making an attempt to influence young children into thinking that homosexual “lifestyle” is normal.
Jean Chong a Singapore gay rights activist said the following.
“When people protest over a gay character in a film, what they are really saying is that LGBTQ persons should not exist, and please go back to the closet.”
Disney’s First Gay Character
Beauty and the Beast’s director, Bill Condon, had revealed that Josh Gad’s character was gay. Beauty and the Beast is a live action remake of the original film and features Disney’s first LGBT character, LeFou, Gaston’s trusted sidekick. The film stars the likes of Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Ewan McGregor, Audra McDonald, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Kevin Kline, and Stanley Tucci. The director said that LeFou is confused about what he wants as on some days. He wants to be like Gaston, while on others he wants to kiss him.
He told Attitude Magazine that the controversial scene was a nice exclusive gay moment in a Disney movie. The character would be dedicated to the film’s late lyricist, Howard Ashman. The lyrist died of AIDS and Bill felt that what happens in the story is a metaphor for AIDS.
Josh felt that LeFou’s character had been questioned for many years, and the answer about his sexuality is finally answered by this retelling. Due to this important moment in Disney history, the so-called controversial gay moment will not be deleted.
[Featured Image by Evan Agostini/AP Images]