Disney’s latest revamping of the classic Beauty and the Beast has been banned in Malaysian movie theaters. The live-action movie starring Emma Watson, was edited by the Malaysian Film Censorship board due to one of the characters being gay, but it was still seen as unfit to screen in the country where gay sex is illegal and punishable to up to 20 years in prison.
Without an official announcement, the movie then vanished from current listings thoughout the country. Chairman of the film censorship board Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid told the Associated press, scenes promoting sexuality were forbidden and that the film had ben given a rating that requires parental guidance for children under 13. As to why the film was completely removed from the cinema Mr. Hamid was unsure.
“We have approved it but there is a minor cut involving a gay moment,” Mr. Hamid said. “ It is only a short scene but it is inappropriate because many children will be watching this movie.”
According to Disney, the Movie is simply being postponed for “ Internal Review”
Russia has allowed the movie to play but banned children under 16 from watching it.
In 2010 Malaysia gave into less strict rules about showing homosexual characters on screen, only if they are shown in a negative light or are showing remorse over their sexuality. [MUK]