Instead, Disney has decided to withdraw the film from the Malaysian market, rather than censor the scene.
Malaysia’s Film Censorship Board approved “Beauty and the Beast” for a “P13” rating after requesting cuts of about 4 1/2 minutes from the subplot with a “gay moment,” according to Film Board Chairman Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid, Variety reported on Monday. A “P13” rating requires those below 13 years of age to be accompanied by a guardian.
Golden Screen Cinemas, Malaysia’s largest theater chain, posted on its website that patrons who purchased advance tickets will receive refunds.
“The film has not been and will not be cut for Malaysia,” according to an email statement from Disney.
This is not the first time the gay scene has met with controversy.
The Russian government initially considered banning the film, but instead decided that no one under the age of 16 would be admitted to see it in theaters without accompanying adults. Additionally, a theater in Henagar, Ala. will not screen the film because of the gay character.
“Beauty and the Beast,” is a remake of the 1991 animated musical classic. The new movie includes a scene with character LeFou, who makes references to his affection for Gaston in the film and later dances with a man at a ball. LeFou is the first and only openly homosexual character in a Disney film.
The movie will be released in Central Florida Thursday.