The Walt Disney live action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast has been postponed in Malaysia “until further notice”, the country’s biggest cinema chain said on Monday in a Facebook post.
The Disney remake is the studio’s first major film to feature an unambiguously gay character, with the flamboyant and bumbling LeFou, played by American comedian Josh Gad, shown dancing with a man.
Disney Malaysia said in an email to the The Star Online that the film’s opening date is undergoing an “internal review”. It did not give further reasons nor a new release date. The movie was originally slated to open in Malaysia on March 16.
The film, starring Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast, quickly courted global controversy after director Bill Condon announced in a pre-release interview with Attitude magazine that the film would contain an “exclusively gay moment”.
The film’s gay character had courted controversy in other countries, including neighbouring Singapore, where an Anglican bishop penned a letter urged his congregation to “provide guidance” to their children regarding the “homosexual content” in the film.
Josh Gad’s gay scene has already seen the film pick up a 16+ age rating in Russia.