Looks like Disney's 'tale as old as time' will be told in Malaysian cinemas: Beauty and the Beast has been approved but with some censorship.
UPDATE 21/3/2017: In a surprise that will make you believe in magic again, GSC Cinemas just Tweeted that the film will be shown in Malaysia after all, without cuts.
The official screening date will be 30 March 2017, so we're betting that fans will be ecstatic. For further ticketing details, we're waiting on the cinemas - Disney Malaysia will apparently be releasing a statement later tonight so stay tuned.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST CONFIRMED FOR 30 MARCH WITHOUT CUTS. RT this and get excited! #BeOurGuest
— GoldenScreenCinemas (@GSCinemas) March 21, 2017
Homosexuality the issue
After yesterday's hubbub over the film premiere cancellation, the Malaysian Censorship Board (LPF) has passed the film after an edit.
LPF Chairman Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid told The Star that a "gay moment" was cut from the film and that it would be rated PG-13.
As to the actual screening date, the film was supposed to begin screening 16 March and those with pre-bought tickets from Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) and TGV have been told to claim refunds.
Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Aziz had weighed in on the film's earlier abrupt postponement, calling a blanket ban on films just for having homosexual characters "ridiculous".
The gay character in the film, Le Fou, is played by Josh Gad and was said to have an "exclusively gay" moment in the film, which has prompted the film to be banned from an Alabama film theatre. In Russia, there have been protests against the film's gay content, with a compromise reached - the film will be screened, but children under 16 will not be allowed in.
If you'd rather skip the cinema and chill with Netflix, here's our recommendations for your TV binge-fest.
UPDATE 16/3/2017: The Star has just reported that Disney Malaysia has lodged an appeal against the cuts but the censorship board is not budging. Disney US is also adamant about not letting any scene be cut in the film.
Disney is holding the film's release until 30 March but pending a miracle, don't hold your breath for the film's official release in the cinema. Still, it might well still be released to disc or on official purchase via iTunes or Google Movies so now might be a good time to start planning that home movie Beauty and the Beast party.
UPDATE 15/3/2017: Bloomberg reported that Disney in an email statement said: "The film has not been and will not be cut for Malaysia."
As Malaysia's Film Censorship Board will only allow the screening with cuts, removing a gay subplot, it looks like an impasse has been reached and "postponed indefinitely" might as well be interpreted as "possibly never".
If you've pre-bought tickets to the film, we suggest you claim your refund soonest as there is no way Malaysia will make the 16 March premiere date.
[Source: The Star]