REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA – Beauty and the Beast movie had its premiere in Indonesia on March 17 and brought controversy. The movie by Bill Condon was said to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) in Indonesia. The movie contained scene of a figure namely Le Fou who was interested to his male friend, Gaston. It was seen by the way they interacted.
An Islamic preacher Ustaz Erick Yusuf stated his disappointment to Censorship Agency (LSF) as the movie had passed the censorship. He said the screening of a movie contained deviated values should be stopped. “I think it is clear that we need to prevent the spread of the campaign. Avoid all things led to LGBT,” he said to Republika.co.id on Monday.
The Head of Art and Culture Commission of Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI) Habbiburrahman El-Shirazi showed the same expression. He said the movie with deviated values should be consored. “It should be censored when the scene come,” he said.
Meanwhile, as quoted by the Straits Times, Harussani Zakaria, the senior mufti for Malaysia’s northern Perak state, said the film would “sow the seeds of destruction and negative behaviour in our society”. “We must guard ourselves from Western behaviour which has gone astray,” he said. “This movie must be banned in Malaysia.”
The Malaysian Muslim People Coalition NGO also called for a ban, with its president Amsah Hamzah saying the film would “promote negative values”. “Youngsters can easily become excited by the gay behaviour seen in the movie and could be influenced by it,” Amsah said.
Malaysian Censorship Board (LPF) chairman Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid told The Star newspaper that the film “has been approved with four minutes and 38 seconds cut”. The cut focused on a “gay moment” from three different points in the film. Disney has refused to the demand and decide that Beauty and the Beast would not be screened in Malaysia.
According to variety.com, the first scene was during the performance of a song in which the character Le Fou hugs his hero, the villain Gaston, from behind. The second was of “suggestive song lyrics with sexual innuendos.” And the third was a scene at the end of the movie that Abdul Hamid declined to identify but that is most likely the bit in which Le Fou has what director Bill Condon calls a “gay moment.”
“The length of the [proposed cut to the] song was about three seconds, but we could not recommend a three-second cut as it would make the song choppy and people would be angry. The other cuts are on the actions,” said Abdul Hamid.
However, the Chairman of LSF Ahmad Yani Basuki explained the agency also held a principle to protect the society from any negative contents of movies. However, LSF saw there were no scene or dialog showing gay love. "The fact and the content we saw did not show any gay activities,” said Yani to Republika.co.id on Monday (March 20).