‘BEAUTY AND THE BEASTʼ WILL NOT BE SCREENED IN MALAYSIA
‘It’s sad as many were looking forward to watching it.’
IT’S a case of take it or leave it. Or so it seems when Walt Disney Co in the United States issued a statement via email regarding the withdraw of the film Beauty and The Beast from being screened here with minor edits.
“The film has not been and will not be cut for Malaysia,” said Disney in the press statement.
This simply meant that if the Malaysian Censorship Board (LPF) decided to cut some scenes deemed improper, there would not be any screening at all here.
“It’s a sad thing if it comes to that as there many who are looking forward to watching the film,” said LPF chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid.
“As far as we’re concerned, we’ve done our part. We didn’t ban the film. We only cut the gay scene, after which we gave the local distributor the go-ahead for the screening,” he added.
Halim also said that Malaysia had been practising the snipping of film scenes deemed inappropriate due to several reasons, which include issues concerning cultural and religious sensitivities.
“In other countries, the respective authorities do not edit out the inappropriate scenes.
“What they do is they decide on suitable ratings for the films so that viewers will be well-informed on the kind of content offered.”
For example, he said, Russia had decided to give a rating of “16+” to the film, to prevent children from watching because of the studio’s first “exclusively gay moment” involving a character played by Josh Gad.
Halim said all this while, LPF’s action had not caused any international film producers to arrive at a drastic decision as the one such by Disney. Maybe it’s because Disney is such a huge company, and takes pride in its product.
“They must be very unhappy when we made that minor edit,” he said.
He also said that when such a decision was made by the film producer, the local distributor and cinema chains did not have a say.