Move over, Alabama, looks like you’ve got some company in the scared hetero zone. Malaysia is the latest place to speak out against Disney’s new Beauty and the Beast, citing the “exclusively gay” moment as something it doesn’t want it’s people to see.
In an interview with New Straits Times, Malaysian censorship board (LPF) chairman Abdul Halim explained exactly what parts of the movie they hope to cut out for Malaysian audiences and why.
“There are three parts which we feel are inappropriate for Malaysian audiences,” he explained. “The first is during the performance of a song where a male character (LeFou) hugs the other (Gaston) from behind. Secondly is the suggestive song lyrics with sexual innuendos and the third is a scene that takes place at the end of the movie.”
The LPF hopes to cut four minutes and 38 seconds out of the film in total, including one entire song. It seems the attention the “gay moment” has drawn in the media factored into the LPF’s decision to cut.
“Maybe if Condon had not mentioned the ‘gay element,’ people wouldn’t be so curious and we could let it go with a potentially minor cut. And this whole thing may not have been an issue. We at LPF want to preserve films as much as how they are intended by the director, but the moment the ‘gay element’ is thrown into the mix, we had to protect ourselves.”
Disney has not yet responded to the criticism, nor agreed to make any such cuts. Perhaps Malaysian audiences will be relegated to watching the live action film on bootleg.