Starring Emma Watson as young Belle who falls in love with
the Beast, the film features a gay character for the first time
in Disney's history.
The company refused to make the cut and pulled the film from
cinemas across the Muslim-majority country where homosexuality
is discouraged by religious leaders.
"The film has not been and will not be cut for Malaysia," Disney
said in a statement.
Asked it Malaysia would change its mind on its demand for the
cut, Censorship Board chairman Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid said:
"Still the same decision."
He added that local distributors had asked for a review of the
decision. The board is expected to meet on Tuesday.
The film opened in neighboring Singapore on Thursday with a
"parental guidance" rating. The world rollout happens over the
next few days.
Last year, Singapore organizers of the musical "Les Miserables"
cut a scene in which two male actors kissed so that the show
could retain a "general" rating and reach a wider audience.
The Communications Office of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of
Singapore warned viewers about the likely content of "Beauty and
"With extensive media reports of the purported 'gay moment' in
this movie, we believe that parents must discern and reflect
with their children on whether the lifestyle portrayed is
consonant with the teaching of Christ," it said in a statement.
In next-door Indonesia, which has the world's largest Muslim
population, the movie opens on Friday with a 13+ classification
and without any cuts.
Some Islamic groups in Indonesia have launched protests
targeting western entertainment in the past, leading to the
cancellation for instance of a performance by pop star Lady Gaga
[to top of second column]
The movie opens in China and India on Friday. In India, it has been
given a U/A rating which means unrestricted public showing but with
guidance for children under 12.
The gay character in the live-action remake of the 1991 animated
version has sparked calls among some ultra-conservative groups
around the world for a boycott.
A U.S. evangelist preacher said last week that the film was trying
to promote an LGBT agenda to children.
Lyle Shelton, managing director of the conservative Australian
Christian Lobby, said he was concerned by reports of "sexualized
content" in the movie but that he wouldn't start a public campaign
"There's a lot of battles. This is just one of many things in our
culture which ignores the innocence of children," he told Reuters.
Malaysia has previously blocked the release of Hollywood movies
deemed religiously insensitive, such as 1998's "The Prince of
Egypt", which depicted the Biblical story of Moses, and 1995's
"Babe", which featured a pig as the main character. Muslims consider
(Reporting by Praveen Menon in Kuala Lumpur; Additional reporting by
Byron Kaye in Sydney, Marius Zaharia in Singapore, Ben Blanchard in
Beijing, Shilpa Jamkhandikar in Mumbai and Cindy Silvania and
Fransiska Nangoy in Jakarta; Editing by Nick Macfie)
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