Disney Pictures have announced that they will not cut the ‘gay moment’ from their upcoming live-action “Beauty and the Beast” film after a request was made by the Film Censorship Board in Malaysia to do so.
The studio has pushed back the film’s release there till March 30th to allow more time for Malaysia’s censor board to make a decision on whether or not to release the film without changes. Malaysia has strict laws against homosexuality and the local Film Censorship Board allows for LGBT characters to be depicted onscreen as long as they show “repentance.”
The potential ban follows on from a report last week Russia was considering banning it, until the country’s culture ministry said the film will be allowed to play but only to those over the age of 16. At the same time a drive-in theatre in Alabama got a lot of free press by announcing their decision not to screen it.
Finally, according to Deadline, the lobbying group Faith Driven Consumers is wildly claiming 95% of its purported 41 million followers are less likely to see the movie because of this moment and that the press release they’ve issued is “not homophobia or bigotry”.
So what is it that’s gotten everyone all hot and bothered? A grand dance scene with the whole cast at the very end in which the sexuality of sidekick character LeFou (Josh Gad) is made clear as, after several seconds of old-fashioned ballroom dancing with a woman, he switches dance partners and dances with another man for around one second of screen time.
The moment, which was a tribute to the late Howard Ashman, closes out a few jokes throughout the film made about LeFou’s lack of female companionship and his infatuation with the oafish Gaston. Even so, it’s barely a moment – even composer Alan Menken describes it to THR as a: “teeny little wink at the very end that doesn’t really say anything. It’s beyond tiny, it’s not even visible.”
Even with the unexpected controversy, the film is tracking for a $200 million worldwide box office debut this weekend with reviews being mostly quite good.
Source: Heat Vision