Malaysian censors have reportedly allowed Disney’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast” to be released in the country uncut. The decision followed days of international attention on the country’s demand that Disney cut more than four minutes of material deemed inappropriate by official censors.
In Muslim-majority Malaysia, sex between men is punishable by law and gay characters are allowed to appear on film only if they are repentant or portrayed negatively.
A Malaysian censorship official blamed the film’s director, who only answered what was effectively a routine question in an interview with The Advocate, for calling attention to a ‘gay scene’ in the film which ‘sparked curiosity’ and so ‘forced’ the Malaysian censors to “protect ourselves”.
The studio refused to comply with the demands for cuts, and withdrew the highly anticipated live-action remake shortly before its scheduled release last week before it launched an appeal.
The New Straits Times (via Variety) now reports that Disney’s Malaysian arm is pleased to announce the film has now been approved to be released in Malaysia with no cuts and a PG13 rating on March 30th.
The decision by Malaysian censors mirrors the one taken in Russia, where a more restrictive 16+ certificate was given.