Beauty and the Beast
A new teaser trailer of “Beauty And The Beast” was released during the 2017 Golden Globes award ceremony. The film hits theatres on March 17. Walt Disney Studios

Walt Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" is set to release worldwide on Thursday and in the U.S. on Friday, expect in Malaysia. The studio decided not to release its film in Malaysia as they would have to censor the homosexual scene in the film solely for the country.

Earlier reports said that the scene had already been censored, however in an emailed statement to Bloomberg, Disney said Tuesday that, "the film has not been and will not be cut for Malaysia."

Scenes that showcase or promote a homosexual relationship are banned in Malaysia, according to the chairman of the Film Censorship Board, Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid. The country's laws declare same-sex activities illegal and also has a punishment of up to 20 years in prison for whoever is convicted of the crime.

"We have approved it, but there is a minor cut involving a gay moment. It is only one short scene but it is inappropriate because many children will be watching this movie," Abdul Hamid told the Associated Press. The scene involved in controversy includes a subplot with an exclusive "gay moment" and the Malaysian censor board wanted to cut over four and a half minutes from the movie that includes the scene. They approved the movie under a P13 rating, which means children below the age of 13 years are required to be accompanied by their parents to the movie hall.

Last week Russia approved the release and distribution of "Beauty and the Beast" for audiences aged above 16 years, although there had been concerns regarding the approval and the film's success because of anti-gay propaganda laws that are followed in the country.

Bill Condon, who is the director of this live-action remake of the 1991 animated classic, had already told Attitude magazine about the gay scene that would be a part of a subplot in the movie, earlier this month. The subplot surrounds the character of LeFou, a sidekick to the film’s primary villain, Gaston.

"LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston," Condon said.

"He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings. And Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that’s what has its payoff at the end, which I don’t want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie. By representing same-sex attraction in this short but explicitly gay scene, the studio is sending out a message that this is normal and natural – and this is a message that will be heard in every country of the world, even countries where it’s still socially unacceptable or even illegal to be gay," Condon added.

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