Beauty and the Beast release postponed in Malaysia

Beauty and the Beast stillImage copyright

The release of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast has been postponed in Malaysia.

The Emma Watson film was due to open on Thursday but has been put on hold due to an “internal review”. No specific reason has been given for the decision.

“The movie release date has been postponed and we are reviewing its new release date internally,” a Disney spokesperson told Malaysian newspaper The Star.

The film courted controversy last week over a gay character in the film.

Malaysian cinema chain GSC Cinemas has said it will refund customers who have purchased tickets in advance.

Last week, a Russian MP petitioned Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky to ban the film over the inclusion of a gay character but the country’s culture ministry granted permission to screen the film, with a 16+ age rating.

Image copyright

Image caption

Josh Gad as LeFou (left) and Luke Evans as Gaston in Beauty and the Beast

A Russian law prohibits the spreading of “gay propaganda” among minors.

Beauty and the Beast director Bill Condon has spoken about the “exclusively gay moment” in the film.

It involves LeFou – the sidekick of the film’s main antagonist Gaston – who tries to come to terms with feelings for Gaston that swing between lust and admiration, as a side-plot to the main story.

Emma Watson plays Belle, the young girl who falls in love with a monstrous beast with a dark secret.

Her suitors – the Beast and Gaston – are played by British stars Dan Stevens and Luke Evans.

The film opens in the UK on Friday.

Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion email .

Beauty and the Beast release postponed in Malaysia}