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Disney Malaysia lodges appeal, Censorship Board says it will not budge


People walking past a poster for the film "Beauty and the Beast" in Singapore on March 14, 2017. - AFP

People walking past a poster for the film "Beauty and the Beast" in Singapore on March 14, 2017. - AFP

PETALING JAYA: In a new but not unexpected turn to the ongoing Beauty and the Beast saga in Malaysia, The Walt Disney Co (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd has lodged an appeal with the Home Ministry.

However, Malaysian Censorship Board (LPF) chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid said despite the appeal, lodged with the Ministry's Film Appeal Committee, LPF will not change its mind.

Abdul Halim said LPF stands by its decision to cut a scene from the film.

"Movie companies cannot impose conditions on LPF. We will not budge," he told The Star.

"As far as I know, Disney has already sent a notice of appeal to the Film Appeal Committee under the Home Ministry, so now the decision of whether to release the film without cuts is up to them," he added.

Starring Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast, and Luke Evans as Gaston, Beauty and the Beast is a live-action remake of Disney's classic animated feature, which became the first animated film to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar in 1991.

The controversy arose when director Bill Condon said that the character of Le Fou, played by Josh Gad, would have a "nice exclusively gay moment" in the film.

The film was originally scheduled for release Thursday (March 16), but was held back. Disney in Malaysia said the release date would be postponed pending an "internal review."

LPF said it had approved the movie for release, but had requested the scene in question be deleted.

However, Disney in the United States said it would not allow any scene to be cut.

The Hollywood Reporter reported on Thursday that Disney in the United States has pushed back the film's release in Malaysia until March 30 to allow more time for a decision to be made on whether or not the film can be released without changes.

The studio has thus far stood firm that it will not allow any cuts to be made.
   

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