We have to assume that Disney really didn’t intend to start a string of international incidents when it casually mentioned that Josh Gad’s character in the upcoming Beauty And The Beast would have a brief “exclusively gay” moment. But hot on the heels of Russia blocking kids from seeing Disney’s latest live-action adaptation lest they be exposed to the morality-curdling sight of two men dancing with each other with some slight romantic overtones, the company is now locking horns with the Malaysian government on similar grounds.
Per Vulture, Disney initially acceded to the requests of the Malaysian Film Censorship Board, offering up a cut of the movie that followed the country’s anti-homosexuality laws. But Mickey and company appear to have now found their animated backbones, refusing to show the film in anything but its original form, canceling this weekend’s screenings, and saying they’ll give the national board more time to re-evaluate its position.
By all accounts, the moment with Gad’s LeFou is the basic bare minimum for gay content, lasting about two seconds and featuring nothing more explicit than dancing and some flirty looks. In other words, this would all be getting blown dramatically out of proportion, if not for the fact that it’s exactly these kinds of overblown homophobic reactions that make huge media influencers like Disney hesitant to acknowledge that LGBT people actually exist.