When news broke out that Disney’s latest remake of Beauty and the Beast would feature a gay character (Le Fou, anyone?), we had a feeling that the decision will affect screenings in Malaysia. While there is no evidence that the delay has anything to do with the character played by Josh Gad, it didn’t stop Malaysians from picking up the obvious memo.
According to a source, the film — which was intended to release on 16 March — currently has no updated release date. Neither there is further reasoning behind the postponement, causing a bit of an outrage online, particularly on Twitter.
I wonder if Ombak Rindu was subjected to such “internal review” as Beauty and the Beast. Or is glorified rape not as “evil” as a gay man?
— Rina Omar (@RockeRina) March 13, 2017
It looks like the Malaysian censors have gotten their knickers in a twist over @joshgad‘s “gay” Lefou. Will we get Beauty and the Beast?
— Umapagan (@umapagan) March 13, 2017
I guess the only ppl who’ve watched beauty and the beast are the censorship board…I envy them now =.=
— Jin Lim (@Jinnyboy) March 13, 2017
In fact, Malaysia is not the only place that disagrees with the character’s homosexuality now made apparent on film. In Russia, children below the age of 16 are banned from watching the film and a drive-through cinema in Alabama, United States has also banned it entirely.
Whatever the delay is about, we just want it back on screen. But even if the movie made it into local cinemas, there’s a chance that the scene director Bill Condon talked about – Le Fou having a gay moment – will be “appropriately cut out.” JUICE‘s very own source has said that the scene under ‘internal review’ involves crossdressing by male characters, which also involves Le Fou, confirming that the Malaysian audience may very well not see his “nice exclusively gay moment.”
As of now, an updated release date has yet to be announced.