Disney Defies Malaysia Censors, Won't Cut 'Beauty and the Beast' Gay Moment

Walt Disney Pictures /courtesy Everett Collection
Dan Stevens and Emma Watson in Beauty and the Beast. 

Disney will not cut the gay moment from Beauty and the Beast, after a request was made by the Film Censorship Board in Malaysia to do so.

The studio says that the movie will not be altered, but it will instead move the release date to March 30, to allow more time for Malaysia's censor board to make a decision on whether or not to release Beauty and the Beast without changes. 

Malaysia has strict laws against homosexuality. The country's Film Censorship Board allows for LGBT characters to be depicted onscreen as long as they show "repentance."

Two weeks ago, director Bill Condon revealed that Josh Gad's character in the film, Gaston's sidekick LeFou, was gay.

Last week, it was reported that Russia was considering a ban of Beauty and the Beast over the gay moment, but the country's culture ministry said the film will be allowed to play but audience members under the age of 16 would not be admitted to screenings.

The Henagar Drive-In Theatre in Henagar, Ala., announced it won't screen the Disney release because it features a gay character.

Despite potential release issues in Malaysia, a relatively small film market, Beauty and the Beast tracking for a $200 million worldwide box office debut. 

Beauty and the Beast will hit theaters Friday in the U.S.

This article originally appeared in THR.com.