PETALING JAYA: Walt Disney’s Beauty and The Beast was supposed to hit the local cinemas today but it is not known now if Malaysians will ever get to watch it on the silver screen.
Yesterday, a Bloomberg news report quoted The Walt Disney Company in the United States as saying that it would not allow the film to be screened with edits.
“The film has not been and will not be cut for Malaysia,” it said in an email.
However, when contacted, the local film distributor, The Walt Disney Co (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, said the movie’s release date was merely postponed.
“There won’t be an official statement from Malaysia as our stand remains that the movie release is postponed,” said its representative.
On Tuesday, the Malaysian Censorship Board (LPF) said it had given the green light for Beauty And The Beast to be shown in Malaysian cinemas with a minor edit.
“The film has been approved with a P-13 parental guidance classification, with a minor cut,” LPF chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid told The Star.
The minor cut concerned a “gay moment” in the film, said Abdul Halim.
Beauty And The Beast is a live-action remake of Disney’s classic animated feature starring Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast, Luke Evans as Gaston and Josh Gad as LeFou.
The movie courted controversy when its director Bill Condon told British magazine Attitude that the character of LeFou would have a “nice exclusively gay moment” in the film.
This will not be the first time that studios in Hollywood have pulled out a film from screening in Malaysia due to cuts.
In 1994, Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment refused to allow Schindler’s List to be screened here after the censorship board requested for seven cuts to be made to the film, which depicted excessive violence and nudity.
Then in 1999, when LPF made 17 cuts to war film Saving Private Ryan, Amblin decided not to release the film in Malaysia.
According to an industry insider, if a film received too many cuts to its key scenes and disrupted its storyline, the studio would not release it.
Recently, movies such as the erotic Fifty Shades Darker and hip-hop drama Straight Outta Compton have been pulled from local cinemas as there were too many cuts.
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