After appeal, Malaysia approves Beauty and the Beast without cuts

Kuwait has pulled Disney's remake of classic film Beauty and the Beast from cinemas to make additional cuts.

A board member of the predominantly Muslim country's National Cinema Company - which runs almost all of Kuwait's cinemas - told the Associated Press that an edited version of Beauty and the Beast may be back on screens later this week.

"Beauty And The Beast" cast member Emma Watson signed a deal where she will earn, depending on how much the hit Disney movie perform in cinemas. The film was given a PG-13 rating in Kuwait.

Malaysian film censors could not immediately be reached for comment.

The film's director had previously declared that the Disney movie includes "a nice, exclusively gay moment". The Mouse postponed the release last week saying the film "has not been and will not be cut for Malaysia".

Despite the "gay moment" controversy, the movie shattered box office records in its opening weekend, taking a monster Dollars 175.7 million in North America and USD 357 million in total, according to industry data released yesterday.

In the UK, Beauty And The Beast had the biggest opening ever for a musical, moving ahead of Universal's Les Miserables.

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The live-action remake of the classic animation makes LeFou, villain Gaston's sidekick, the first openly gay character in a Disney film.

The film's delay in Malaysia arose when censors objected to what's been referred to as a "gay moment": Josh Gad's portrayal of LeFou as smitten with the handsome cad Gaston (Luke Evans). Those in support of the ban on the film in Kuwait launched hashtags calling for "respect" and urging the cinema company to protect children by blocking the movie. Malaysia requested that over four of the movie's gayest minutes be cut.

It is punished by up to 20 years in prison, with or without fines, and whipping.

  • Salvatore Jensen