March 21, 2017, 9:41 a.m.
Photo: Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast in "Beauty and the Beast." (Disney)
After initial controversy, Disney fans in Malaysia will soon be able to experience the magic of the box office behemoth "Beauty and the Beast." Several major Malaysian movie chains announced Tuesday a new March 30 release date for the film.
Most notably, the announcements from Golden Screen Cinemas and TGV Cinemas acknowledge that the film will not feature the cuts originally made by the Malaysian censor board.
The film was scheduled to be released in the country on March 16, the global premiere date, before being indefinitely postponed when the Film Censorship Board cut "a gay moment" due to Malaysian laws condemning homosexuality.
Disney responded by stating that "the film has not been and will not be cut for Malaysia."
According to the Associated Press, an anonymous government official attributed the reversal to an appeal committee viewing the film and determining the scene in question was inoffensive.
Malaysia is not the only country where "Beauty and the Beast" is facing resistance. The film was pulled from theaters in Kuwait on Monday by censors concerned by some of the film’s content.
Duaij al Khalifa al Sabah, a board member for the National Cinema Company in Kuwait, which operates 11 of the country’s 13 theaters, told AP that a newly edited version of the film may be available later in the week.
Despite the censorship disputes, "Beauty and the Beast" is a monster at the box office, bringing in $350 million over the weekend, domestically and abroad.
Representatives for Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.