LeFou's love bite revealed as 'gay moment' in Beauty and the Beast

LeFou's love bite revealed as 'gay moment' in Beauty and the Beast
PHOTO: The Walt Disney Company

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian Censorship Board (LPF) chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid revealed that the "gay moment" the board cut in the movie Beauty and The Beast concerned a song featuring LeFou.

"The way he dances is... gay and the dialogue and the lyrics of the song are too.

"In the same scene he also lifts up his shirt and shows a love bite on his tummy," he reportedly told AFP.

"Even I wanted to bring my grandchildren to watch it. But there are rules. We don't support LGBT," he said.

Read also: 'Gay' character in Beauty and the Beast is just comic relief, says reviewer

The Walt Disney Co (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd has lodged an appeal with the Home Ministry to overturn LPF's decision to cut the "gay moment" in the film.

Abdul Hamid said the appeal was lodged with the Home Ministry's Film Appeal Committee but LPF "stands by its decision to cut a scene from the film."

"Movie companies cannot impose conditions on LPF. We will not budge," he told The Star.

The film, featuring "Harry Potter" star Emma Watson, has raised hackles worldwide among religious groups angered by its depiction of LeFou, the sycophantic sidekick to antagonist Gaston, as a gay man, making him Disney's first ever out LGBT character.

Disney has now postponed the Malaysian release of the film, originally slated to open on Thursday, until March 30 to give the authorities time to rule on the matter.

Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia, where laws criminalising sodomy can result in imprisonment, corporal punishment and fines.

Religious groups and Islamic scholars had previously called for the film to be banned over concerns that it would promote "negative values" in the country.

The film has also come under fire from religious figures in neighbouring Singapore, while Russia slapped an adults-only rating on the movie last week following pressure by an ultra-conservative lawmaker who was pushing for a ban.

Despite the controversy, the movie has already become the fastest-selling family film in history, outpacing previous record-holder "Finding Dory," according to online ticket seller Fandango, ahead of its release this week.

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