A movie centered around a romance between Emma Watson and a buffalo has managed to spark some moral outrage among conservative groups around the world thanks to the sexual preference of one of its minor characters.
The live-action remake of the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast is set for release on Friday in Hong Kong, rated as suitable for all ages to see.
However, the anti-gay Family School Sodo (Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance) Concern Group vehemently disagrees with the rating, penning a letter to the Office for Film, Newspaper and Article Administration criticizing the film for failing to denounce “gay-related behavior or lifestyle” owing to a scene in the movie in which a man dances with another man at a ball in what director Bill Condon referred to as a “nice, exclusively gay moment.”
“[This] could instill in some children values that their parents do not agree with, such as believing that being gay is normal and not a problem,” the group’s convenor Roger Wong Wai-ming said, according to the South China Morning Post. Wong has therefore urged the Hong Kong government to take immediate action against the film, either by banning it, deleting the controversial scene or by classifying it as not suitable for those under 18 years old without parental supervision.
Unfortunately for Wong, the administration seems unlikely to take any of these measures, stating that the film has already been screened for all ages, and found appropriate.
Beauty and the Beast is facing more serious challenges elsewhere in Asia. In the conservative city-state of Singapore, the fairy tale film was given a parental guidance rating, not for gay content, but for “mild portrayals of violence.” Meanwhile, in Malaysia, the movie was only given approval after the “gay scene” was out; however, Disney has refused to make any cuts, postponing the film’s release in the country.
Responding to the homophobic controversy swilring around the movie, Ewan McGregor, who plays a talking candlestick in the movie, had this to say: “There is a lot of gay sex in this cartoon. If you live anywhere near Alabama, you should not go see this film. What would Jesus think?”
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