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Disney shelves Beauty and the Beast in M'sia, despite approval
Published:  Mar 14, 2017 2:24 AM
Updated: 5:15 AM

Walt Disney has decided to shelve the release of “Beauty and the Beast” in Malaysia, according to a news report.

The decision was made despite the Malaysian Censorship Board approving the movie with a minor cut to what is described as a “gay moment” in the fairy tale adaptation.

According to Associated Press (AP), two main cinema chains in Malaysia, which were scheduled to screen the movie this Thursday, said it had been postponed indefinitely, with no reason given.

Censorship Board chairperson Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid was quoted as saying that he did not not know why the movie was postponed.

He said that 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.

The movie had courted controversy after its director, Bill Condon, was reported by a UK magazine as stating that the character Le Fou, played by actor Josh Gad, would have a “nice exclusively gay moment” in the movie.

Abdul Halim said the censorship board had to take note of Condon's announcement as it concerned a "sensitive" topic.

"We have approved the film so there is no more issue. Once a film receives approval, it means it can be screened.

"However, the date of screening and where the screening takes place is not under the board's jurisdiction. We only look at the content and give a decision on whether the movie gets approved or not," he added.

It was reported yesterday that the local release date for the movie had been postponed from its March 16 premiere due to an "internal review", but the reasons were not clear at the time.

Local cinema chains GSC and TGV had also promised refunds for its customers who pre-booked their tickets for the screenings.

The movie stars Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast and Luke Evans as Gaston.

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