A gay scene in the new Disney "Beauty and the Beast" movie is causing a stir in other countries. The movie won't be shown in Malaysia because the company refuses to cut a three-second scene showing two male characters dancing together. A member of the censorship board said, "It is in our guidelines that we don't allow L.G.B.T. activity in movies in Malaysia. They are the ones not allowing the movie to be shown. We approved it with a minor cut."
Director Bill Condon called the interaction "a nice, exclusively gay moment," and Disney made a short statement about the controversy: "The film has not been and will not be cut for Malaysia."
Officials in other countries aren't happy about the scene either. A Russian lawmaker said it was a "blatant, shameless propaganda of sin," and although the country will show the movie, only those 16 years or older can see it.
Condon said of the characters: "LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston. He's confused about what he wants. It's somebody who's just realizing that he has these feelings."
- What do you think of Disney's choice to include two men dancing in a movie?
- Should Disney cut the scene so the movie would be shown in Malaysia? If it makes a difference in your answer (does it?), The New York Times reports, "'The Jungle Book' last year had $967 million in global ticket sales, and Malaysia represented $5.7 million of that total."
- How do you assess Disney's short statement in response? Should the company say more? Why or why not?