‘Beauty and the Beast’ Breaks Records Despite Homophobic Backlash

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Ian McKellen, Josh Gad, Emma Watson, Dan Stevens and Ewan McGregor. Photo: Facebook.

Despite censorships and edits across the world for its “exclusively gay moment,” Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” broke the box office.

The film became the seventh largest opening weekend in history, according to Rotten Tomatoes. It rose to $170 million, beating out “Hunger Games,” “Spider-Man” and even “Harry Potter.”

Controversy erupted over the film after Director Bill Condon revealed character LeFou (played by Josh Gad) would have “a nice, exclusively gay moment.”

“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” he said. “He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings.”

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The revelation caused controversy both in the United States and abroad, with countries like Kuwait and Malaysia pulling the film from theatres and attempting to censor the film of its potentially gay content.

"We were requested to stop the screening and further censor the movie for things that were deemed offensive by the Ministry of Information's censorship department," Board Member of the National Cinema Company Duaij Al-Khalifa Al-Sabah told The Associated Press, also stating that the film may be edited and released in theaters soon.

Malaysia’s largest cinema chain, Golden Screen Cinemas, stated Tuesday that they will show the film in theatres on March 30 without edits. The film was intended to premiere on March 16 but was delayed after Disney refused to cut the content from the film, according to EDGE Media Network.

“This is official from Disney. No cuts. PG13. 30 March. GET YOURSELF READY!,” Golden Screen Cinemas said on Facebook.

“Beauty and the Beast” is not the only recent big-screen film to feature a “gay moment.” The upcoming “Power Rangers” movie, premiering on March 24, will have a “pivotal” moment where one of the rangers must come to terms with her sexuality.


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