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Beauty and the Beast release on hold in Malaysia over gay moment

IANS Indo Asian News Service

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KUALA LAMPUR — Disney film “Beauty and the Beast” was due for a release here in Malaysia on March 9 but has been put on hold as it features a “gay moment”.

The Malaysian Censorship Board, Lijst Pim Fortuyn Government (LPF), said on Tuesday it had approved the screening but with “a minor edit concerning a gay moment in the film”, reports bbc.com.

A new release date for the movie is yet to be announced.

“We have approved the film so there is no more issue. Once a film receives approval, it means it can be screened,” Chairman Datuk Abdul Hamid (LPF), said.

“However, the date of screening and where the screening takes place is not under LPF’s jurisdiction. We only look at the content and give a decision on whether the movie gets approved or not,” Hamid added.

Local cinema chains have been offering refunds for customers who have purchased tickets in advance.

“Beauty and the Beast” director Bill Condon had spoken about the “exclusively gay moment” in the film. It involves character of LeFou trying to come to terms with feelings for character of Gaston that swing between lust and admiration, as a side-plot to the main story.

The decision to review the Disney classic in Malaysia courted criticism from netizens, many of whom called it “stupid and laughable”.

Tourism minister Seri Nazri Aziz also said banning the film was “ridiculous”.

“You don’t ban a film because of a gay character. There are also gays in the world. I don’t think it is going to influence anyone. We need to think, we must allow people to decide for themselves,” he told the Malay Mail.

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Earlier, there were reports that even the Russian government was coming under pressure to ban the movie for allegedly contravening a 2013 law that prohibits “gay propaganda” aimed at children.

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Salman Khan to perform in Kathmandu on March 10

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — Bollywood star Salman Khan and over 60 actors will be performing in Kathmandu on March 10 for the musical tour, ‘Da-Bangg: The Tour’ event, which will take place at Tundikhel ground, and expected to attract around 50, 000 viewers, including 10,000 foreigners.

The two main organisers of the tour, Sohail Khan Entertainments and JA Events, and the partner organiser from Nepal, ODC Entertainment, for the event’s confirmation, have organised a press meet here at the Capital’s Soaltee Crowne Plaza on Friday.

‘Da-Bangg: The Tour Nepal’ will feature live performances by Salman Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Prabhu Deva, Meet Bros, Daisy Shah, Kriti Sanon and Maniesh Paul.

Sohail Khan, the founder of Sohail Khan Entertainments — also an actor and the younger brother of Salman, briefed the media about the extravaganza that is to come.

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“We are extremely delighted to bring Da-Bangg: The Tour in Kathmandu for the first time. There should be more of these cultural shows and vice-versa, where Nepali artists and Indian artists get together; we should get together and make ties between our cultures into a very beautiful world,” Sohail said.

“I am sure the entire team is more than excited than the Nepali people, because Nepal is like our extended home, our neighbours, where we are always showered with immense love and support.”

Likwise, Deepak Joshi, CEO of the Nepal Tourism Board, said, “This event will also be one of the instrumental to promote Nepal to recover our tourism as events are very important to promote destinations. For many Indian visitors it is very popular as a party and pilgrimage segment, very popular for adventure enthusiasts and weekend breakers and an equally important destination for film makers too.”

Apart from the event, Salman Khan is scheduled to visit the Chandragiri Hills. He is also scheduled to undertake a Heli flight to see Mount Everest, Lhotse, Nupche, Makalu and other high Himalayan peaks.

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