Beauty and The Beast prompts advisory from S'pore bishop about homosexual content, gets postponed indefinitely in Malaysia

The live-action remake of Beauty and The Beast has stirred up controversy here and across the causeway for including a gay character.

In a recent interview with Attitude magazine, the film's director Bill Condon had revealed that Lefou played by Josh Gad represents an "exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie".

According to The New Paper, flamboyant character shows more than just friendly feelings for the handsome antagonist Gaston in the film.

This has prompted Anglican Bishop Rennis Ponniah to issue an advisory before the film premieres here on Thursday.

In a statement released on the St Andrew's Cathedral website, Bishop Rennis Ponniah urged the clergy and deaconesses to alert their congregation about the homosexual content in the film.

He wrote: "Disney films for children's entertainment are usually associated with wholesome and mainstream values. But times are changing at a foundational level... LeFou is portrayed as gay and a 'gay moment' is included in the movie by way of a subplot.

"Parents are advised to provide guidance to their children about (the film), and indeed to their children's entertainment choices in a rapidly changing age."

He also said the Diocese and the National Council of Churches will work on a fuller advisory this week for the movie.

Parents in Singapore have reacted differently following the revelation of the Lefou's sexuality.

Marketing consultant Wilfred Chan, 43, said he will not let his 14-year-old son watch the movie as the homosexual content is against his religious beliefs.

Stay-at-home mum Jamie Tan, 38, though, has no qualms about it.

Mrs Tan, who has a nine-year-old daughter, said: "It'll be a good opportunity to explain the idea of homosexuality to her if she notices and asks about it."

Across the causeway in Malaysia, the Disney movie, which is scheduled to open in theatres there next week, has been postponed indefinitely.

No other reason was given for the postponement, and there was no indication of the new release date, reported The Star.

Beauty and the Beast will open in theatres here on Mar 16.