KUALA LUMPUR: Disney on Wednesday said it would not release a censored version of its film “Beauty and the Beast” in Malaysia after authorities cut a “gay moment” in the movie.
The head of Malaysia’s censorship board earlier told local media that a “gay moment” had been removed from the film before approving its release.
But on Wednesday, a Disney spokesperson told AFP that “the film has not been and will not be cut for Malaysia”, effectively shelving plans to release it in the Southeast Asian country.
The film was originally slated to be released on Thursday in Malaysia. Director Bill Condon has revealed that the movie contains Disney’s “first exclusively gay moment”, although some critics have said the reference is extremely mild and fleeting.
The authorities in Malaysia had previously called for the film to be banned over concerns that it would promote “negative values” in the country.
The movie has also come under fire from religious figures in neighbouring Singapore.
Despite the controversy, the movie has already become the fastest-selling family film in history, outpacing previous record-holder “Finding Dory,” according to online ticket seller Fandango, ahead of its release this week.