LPF approves 'Beauty and the Beast' before release date, unaware of postponement

Farezza Hanum Rashid

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Censorship Board (LPF) today said Disney's new movie, Beauty and the Beast has been approved with minor cut before its initial March 16 release date.

LPF chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid told the New Straits Times that the board had already gone through the film and only made a minor cut to a "gay moment" featured in the film.

"All films from abroad come through LPF first before they are shown to the public where we censor, rate and approve or disapprove.

"In the case of the Beauty and the Beast, I have no idea why the distributor decided to postpone the release.

"Sometimes, they don't like it when we censor their films so maybe they were unhappy with the cut we made. Whatever the reason, it was an internal issue," he said.

On when the film will be screened in local cinemas, Abdul Halim said LPF has nothing to do with the matter as it was the distributor and cinemas' decision.

City Cineplex in Kota Kinabalu has set March 30 as the new date to premier the film.

Its Facebook page cited "some unforeseen technical issues" as the reason for the postponement.

"Luckily, we were able to block ticket sales in time so no refunds are necessary. We usually make early ticket sales around four days ahead of the screening," a City Cineplex spokesman told the NST.

TGV Cinemas, although aware of LPF's approval, said the film remains postponed until further notice.

On its Facebook page, TGV Cinemas has asked those who purchased tickets over-the-counter to get their refunds from the respective branches while those who purchased online, refunds will be processed and credited.

The controversy arised after director Bill Condon had reportedly said in a UK interview that the character of Le Fou, played by Josh Gad, would have a "nice exclusively gay moment" in the film.