Censor Board had given film a PG13 rating
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Censorship Board (LPF) is puzzled as to why the release date of Disney’s film, Beauty and the Beast, was postponed nationwide.
LPF chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid said the film had gone through censorship and LPF had made a minor cut to a controversial “gay moment”, and gave the film a PG13 rating before the scheduled March 16 premiere date.
He said films had to go through LPF to be censored, rated and approved before getting the green light to be aired to the public. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) elements would be taken out.
“On Beauty and the Beast, I have no idea why the distributor decided to postpone the release. Sometimes, they don’t like it when we censor the films so maybe they were unhappy with the cut we made. It was an internal matter on their side,” he told the New Straits Times yesterday.
Although distributor The Walt Disney Company (Malaysia) had not announced the official release date, City Cineplex in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, set March 30 to for the premiere.
“The date is subject to change. We were able to block ticket sales before the March 16 screening so no refunds were necessary. We usually make ticket sales four days ahead of a screening,” a City Cineplex spokesman said.
TGV Cinemas head of marketing Celeste Koay told the NST it had yet to receive updates on the new release date from Disney.
“We sold many tickets in advance, touching a six-figure value. We are offering refunds. We understand the public’s frustration as this is a much loved story that most of us grew up with.”
To fill in screening slots meant for Beauty and the Beast, TGV will bring back Utopia, Moana and The Lego Batman movie.
Golden Screen Cinemas is offering refunds for advance ticket purchases. For online purchases, full refund will be made to the customers’ bank accounts while for counter purchases, customers are to go to the respective cinemas to collect their refunds.
Communications and Multimedia Ministry said it had nothing to do with the postponement of the Beauty and the Beast screening.
Its minister, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak, said the delay of the movie’s release was under the LPF, which is under the purview of the Home Ministry.
Controversy sparked after Beauty and the Beast director Bill Condon had reportedly said that the character of Le Fou, played by Josh Gad, would have a “nice exclusively gay moment”.