Disney has defended its remake of “Beauty and the Beast” by indefinitely pulling the film from theaters in Malaysia instead of cutting scenes involving an “exclusively gay moment” between two characters.
The live-action remake of the 1991 animated musical, which opens March 17, received a P13 rating from Malaysia’s Film Censorship Board after a request to edit out four and a half minutes of footage, Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid, the film board chairman, told Bloomberg News in a text message.
Only when the deletions are complete will theaters across Malaysia be allowed to show the film, he explained.
The P13 rating requires moviegoers under the age of 13 to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
However, Disney wasn’t having any of this BS and simply said in a statement: “The film has not been and will not be cut for Malaysia.”
The “exclusively gay moment” in question revolves around a male character who ends up dancing with another male character.
The world as we know it is coming to an end!
Unfortunately, Malaysia has laws against homosexuality and openly endorses gay conversion therapy, according to Towleroad.
Golden Screen Cinemas, the largest theater chain in Malaysia, postponed screenings of “Beauty and the Beast” on Monday and said that it will offer refunds to customers who have already purchased their tickets in advance.
Many netizens online praised Disney for finally portraying a gay character, and the editor of British gay lifestyle magazine Attitude hailed it as “a watershed moment” for the studio, The Washington Post reported.
However, another theater in the U.S. wasn’t too thrilled to show the movie.
The Henagar Drive-In theater in northern Alabama said in a lengthy Facebook post, which has since been deleted but can be viewed here, that its owners are “first and foremost Christians” and “will not compromise on what the Bible teaches.”
But they continued to show “family-oriented films” so that patrons “can feel free to come watch wholesome movies.”
According to the Independent, actor Ewan McGregor, who stars as Lumière in “Beauty and the Beast”, spoke about the uproar in an interview with Stephen Colbert, saying, “It’s just like, he’s a gay character and it’s 2017 for f*ck sake.”
He jokingly added: “There’s a lot of gay sex in this cartoon and I think if you live anywhere near Alabama you should not go and see this film. What would Jesus think?”