The live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast cleaned up in box offices around the world over the weekend, including in China where the film’s controversial “gay moment” was not edited out.
The update of the animated Disney classic took in $45 million in China during its opening weekend, making for Disney’s strongest live-action opening yet, and accounting for 48% of the week’s total box office. Around the world, the film earned a healthy $350 million.
Because of one minor character’s implied sexual preference, the film has been met with opposition by conservative groups around Asia. The movie’s release has been delayed for a week in Malaysia after Disney refused to delete a scene that has been described as a “gay moment” by director Bill Condon. In Hong Kong, a homophobic group also called for the film to be banned, and a Christian primary school urged their parents not to take their children to see the movie.
“The school has been teaching the children with the truths in the Bible to let them understand Gods’ purposes of creating mankind. God disapproves of homosexuality. Therefore we call on the parents not to bring them or let them watch the film,” a notice sent to parents read, according to the South China Morning Post.
However, mainland China had absolutely no issue with the film — which centers around the romance between Emma Watson and a kidnapping buffalo — and its “gay moment,” releasing it across the country with no cuts, and no parental advisories. People’s Daily even tweeted about it:
— People's Daily,China (@PDChina) March 16, 2017
This is a refreshing change of pace for Chinese censors who have been coming down hard on depictions of homosexuality in the media recently. Last year, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) introduced a new set of rules banning television shows from depicting “abnormal sexual relations or sexual behavior,” including “homosexuality” or “perversion,” taking down a popular teen romcom which explored themes of gay romance.
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