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‘Beauty and the Beast’ to Open in Malaysia With ‘Gay Moment’ Intact

Family film will carry PG-13 rating, Disney tells local media

Disney’s massive box office hit “Beauty and the Beast” will open in Malaysia after all, and “with no cuts.” Yes, that means the film’s highly publicized “gay moment” will remain intact over there.

“We are pleased to announce that Disney’s ‘Beauty And The Beast’ has now been approved to be released in Malaysia with no cuts, with a PG-13 rating,” the Walt Disney Company of Malaysia told the New Straits Times. “Be our guest when the film opens in Malaysian cinemas on March 30, 2017.”

Malaysian theater giant Golden Screen Cinemas confirmed the news on Twitter this morning:

Previously, the Malaysian Censorship Board asked Disney to make a few edits to the film, including removing a part where Josh Gad’s character LeFou longs for villain Gaston (Luke Evans). The Mouse House refused, and it initially looked like the live-action remake of 1991’s animated movie might not open at all in the country.

Film Censorship Board chairman Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid had said at the time that scenes “promoting sexuality were forbidden.” Sex between men is illegal in Malaysia.

Per the Motion Picture Association of America, PG-13 goes like this: “Parents Strongly Cautioned — some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.”

Earlier this month, director Bill Condon told Attitude Magazine that the movie would feature an “exclusively gay moment” involving the two buddies.

“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” Condon told the magazine. “He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings. And Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that’s what has its payoff at the end, which I don’t want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”

In response, an Alabama movie theater decided to pull its scheduled screenings of Disney’s live-action remake because of the film’s inclusion of a “homosexual character.”

In Russia, the film received an age restriction, meaning people under the age of 16 will not be able to go see the movie in theaters without being accompanied by an adult.

This came three days after Vitaly Milonov, an MP of the United Russia party, asked the country’s culture minister to screen the film prior to its March 16 Russian release and to “take measures to totally ban” it if the film contains “elements of propaganda of homosexuality.”

Doesn’t seem to bother anyone else: “Beauty and the Beast” hauled in a massive $170 million over its opening weekend.