Once the Pandora’s box of what constitutes an “exclusively gay” moment in a Disney movie is opened, it might never be closed. In an interview published today in New Straits Times, Malaysian film censorship board (LPF) chairman Abdul Halim expounded on exactly which parts of the new, live-action Beauty and the Beast were not appropriate for his nation’s audiences. Turns out his board requested that four minutes and 38 seconds in total be removed from the film prior to its release, including what seems to be an entire song.
“There are three parts which we feel are inappropriate for Malaysian audiences,” he explained. “The first is during the performance of a song where a male character (LeFou) hugs the other (Gaston) from behind. Secondly is the suggestive song lyrics with sexual innuendos and the third is a scene that takes place at the end of the movie.” Halim also pointed to the film’s director Bill Condon as part of the issue, saying, “Maybe if Condon had not mentioned the ‘gay element,’ people wouldn’t be so curious and we could let it go with a potentially minor cut. And this whole thing may not have been an issue. We at LPF want to preserve films as much as how they are intended by the director, but the moment the ‘gay element’ is thrown into the mix, we have to protect ourselves.” Disney has so far declined to make the requested edits, leaving only one question left unanswered: Which song are we talking about here?