Final appeal for "Beauty and the Beast" censorship taking place today
Writer: Florey DM
The fate of "Beauty and the Beast" in Malaysian cinemas will be decided today.
21 Mar – Be our guest – or no? The result of Disney Malaysia's appeal to overturn the Malaysian Censorship Board's (LPF) verdict to cut "Beauty and the Beast" is to be decided today.
When contacted by Cinema Online, LPF chairman Dato' Abdul Halim bin Abdul Hamid confirmed that the result is to be decided today, 21 March, but the chairman did not confirm at what time that would be or even the date it would be announced to the public as that is under the Films Appeal Committee.
"Personally, I do not know what the result of the appeal will be," said the LPF chairman, adding that it might be rejected or it might go the other way.
The result will be decided by the committee, which is made up of 20 members including LPF staff, civil servants, professionals from the entertainment industry and more.
"I have watched the movie and what I can say is the gay scenes in the movie are very unsuitable for children's viewing," shared Dato' Halim.
"If the movie were for adults, we would have given it an 18 classification, but it's targeted towards children so LPF will not allow it.
"When it comes to children, they are easily influenced by what they watch because they do not know whether it is good or bad. So we have the take the issue seriously," he added.
Josh Gad's character LeFou is Disney's first out gay character.
When asked why the movie seems to be getting a harsher scrutiny compared to movies such as "Ombak Rindu" and "Suamiku Ustaz", the former which dealt with rape and the latter which featured a forced marriage between an older man and a high school girl, the chairman replied:
Cinema Online, 21 March 2017
"It is a wrong perception to compare "Beauty and the Beast" to [the aforementioned movies]. Firstly, the target audience for all three movies are different, whereby "Beauty and the Beast" is for children while the other two are for adults.
"One more thing that I would to stress here is that homosexuality is a heavy issue here [Malaysia]. So I hope people will not compare the three movies."
At time of writing, Disney Malaysia could not be reached for comments.
Disney Malaysia made an appeal last Friday to overturn LPF's decision to cut approximately 4 minutes and 30 seconds of "gay moments" from the movie. If the appeal is unsuccessful, Walt Disney Co. will pull the movie from Malaysian cinemas as it has refused to screen the movie with any cuts.
"Beauty and the Beast" was originally slated for release in Malaysian cinemas on 16 September 2017.