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GAITY IN MALAYSIA IN "BEAUTY AND THE BEAST"

Beauty and the Beast stillMalaysian censors recently ruled that a brief, gay-themed scene in the movie involving two male characters dancing promoted homosexuality, but Walt Disney Studios refused to cut the scene, meaning the film did not open there on March 16 as scheduled. The sequence, reported Reuters, is said to be three seconds long.

“The film has not been and will not be cut for Malaysia,” Disney said in a statement on March 14 without elaborating.

The film is a live-action remake of Disney’s 1991 animated blockbuster of the same name. The film’s director, Bill Condon, confirmed that the scene in question — involving a character named LeFou, manservant to the villain, Gaston — is an “exclusively gay moment.”

Oddly (as either John Oliver or Bill Maher — forgot which — observed), the Malaysians have no objection to bestiality —a  woman falling in love with an animal. THE FILM IS PROMOTING HUMAN-ANIMAL SEX! Where’s the outrage? Geez.

Belle and BeastMalaysia is a Muslim-majority country, and sodomy is illegal there, although the law is seldom enforced. The capital, Kuala Lumpur, has a thriving gay community.

With about 30 million people, Malaysia is a small part of Disney’s overall audience. But the movie has experienced other hesitancies elsewhere.

Russia agreed finally to let “Beauty and the Beast” be shown there, but it barred children under 16 from attending unless accompanied by someone over 16. A Russian lawmaker had called for it to be banned entirely, saying it was “blatant, shameless propaganda of sin.”

Kuwait, another Muslim-majority country, pulled the film from cinemas after it had been showing for almost a week. Again, the cause was concern over the gay scene. Nobody minds that this bimbo is fucking a horny buffalo.

Right: no one really minds. Brooks Barnes at nytimes.com reports that “Beauty and the Beast” achieved “an astounding $170 million in ticket sales at North American theaters over its opening weekend (March17-19). That total broke multiple Hollywood records, including one set last year by ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ for the biggest March opening.”

Back in Malaysia, the authorities ultimately overturned the Film Censorship Board’s earlier ban against “Beauty”: the movie opened, nation-wide, on March 30. Perhaps tourism played a part in the reversal: Tourism Minister Nazri Aziz, reports Richard Paddock at nytimes.com, objected to the prohibition, calling it “ridiculous. ... You don’t ban a film because of a gay character,” he said. “All these years even without the gay character in the ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ there are also gays in the world. I don’t think it is going to influence anyone” (to become homosexual).

Meanwhile, in the ensuing days, another American-made movie, “Power Rangers,” has apparently escaped B&B’s fate: the movie is the first big budget superhero movie to have an LGBT protagonist, but it got a green light from Malaysia’s censors until they found out that the Yellow Ranger, Trini, may be lesbian. The censors wanted to have another look. But, perhaps cowed by international outcry over the B&B censorship, they let “Power Rangers” slip into the country’s theaters, unscathed, reports Patrick Brzeski at hollywoodreporter.com.

For more Rants & Raves with its comics news and reviews, gossip and cartooning lore, visit www.RCHarvey.com

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