Malaysian film boss invents gay hickey scene as reason for axing Beauty and the Beast
Malaysia’s top film boss has claimed there is a gay hickey (or love bite) scene in the new Beauty and the Beast film, despite it not being true.
Malaysian Censorship Board (LPF) chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid has claimed it as the reason for wanting to censor the film in Malaysia.
According to AsiaOnline, he said: “The way he dances is… gay and the dialogue and the lyrics of the song are too.
“In the same scene he also lifts up his shirt and shows a love bite on his tummy.
“Even I wanted to bring my grandchildren to watch it.
“But there are rules. We don’t support LGBT,” he said.
However there is no such flashing of a love bite in the film.
PinkNews, who has seen the film, spoke to the publicists for Beauty and the Beast, Premier, who confirmed there is no such moment.
The live-action remake is the first major Disney film to feature an unambiguously gay character, with Gaston’s sidekick LeFou shown dancing with a man near the end of the film.
Walt Disney has now pulled all screenings of Beauty and the Beast in Malaysia rather than allow the film’s gay content to be cut.
The Malaysian branch of Walt Disney said that the film, which was due to be shown in cinemas from Wednesday, had been postponed due to an “internal review”.
And the multi-billion-pound animation company has now barred the film from being shown by any cinema in the country after it found out censors had cut the film’s gay scene.
The film was altered by Malaysia’s Film Censorship Board, with board chair saying: “We have approved [the film], but there is a minor cut involving a gay moment.
“It is only one short scene, but it is inappropriate because many children will be watching this movie.”
It was seemingly fine with a film which involved a woman falling in love with a buffalo-like animal – as long as there were no scenes which even hinted at characters being gay.
Earlier this week, Ewan McGregor, who is in the film as the voice of Lumière, shut down homophobic haters in the best way possible.
Josh Gad, whose character Le Fou struggles with his sexuality throughout the film, said it was a shame the twist had been revealed, adding: “I hope that it’s a surprise to audiences to some extent.”
But Emma Watson, who plays Belle in the film, said the “subtle” portrayal of Le Fou was “fun”, and added extra dimensions to the character.
“It’s always like, does he idolise Gaston? Is he in love with Gaston? What’s the relationship there? And I think it’s incredibly subtle, to be perfectly honest.”
Disney does not agree with the film censorship board’s stance.
A representative for the company told Bloomberg: “The film has not been and will not be cut for Malaysia.”
Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia, with those found guilty of homosexual offences facing up to 20 years in prison.
All gay characters shown in films in Malaysia must die or repent, often ‘becoming straight’ by the end of the film.
As recently as 2015, current Malasyian prime minister Najib Razak compared the LGBT community to Islamic State, saying both were enemies of Islam.
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Last year, five Disney films ranked in Malaysia’s top 20 box office draws, grossing more than $21 million in the country.
The film has caused controversy in the US as well, with one drive-in cinema in Alabama refusing to show the film – despite having also (accidentally) scheduled a film about drag queens in its upcoming screenings.
The furore began when director Bill Condon told Attitude Magazine that the character LeFou, Gaston’s manservant, has confusing feelings about the major character in the new film.
Some, however, believe that Le Fou was gay in the original film.