How Beauty And The Beast Is Basically An Allegory Of The Beauty And The Beast Ban In Malaysia

When news hit of the live-action version of Beauty and The Beast starring our home girl Emma Watson was going to be a real thing, we had to pinch multiple parts of ourselves. We at #TeamCLEO have basically been waiting for this since the beginning of our lives.

Sure, there has been a lot of hype and build-up to the release (can you really blame people?) with all the sneak peeks and teasers and trailers leaking all over our feeds.

Basically marketing genius at work.

Then just DAYS away from the release, which was meant to be March 17, We got dis.

Still a rumour at that time. Little did we know…

As a collective, we all thought it couldn’t be true. With all the rumours and news then starting to circulate, it turned out that the ban went ahead and screenings nationwide were pulled.

This is basically us in Malaysia RN, watching the rest of the world buy tickets and watch Beauty and the Beast.

To date, the ban in Malaysia on Beauty and the Beast still remains, but it got us thinking about a few things: How did the original Beauty and the Beast still hit screens? Weren’t there allusions to gay people in the original?

Oh cute, they’re friends.

Guys. He’s literally flaming.

Aren’t there portrayals of non-heteronormative characters in every single facet of… Life? Every TV show, every movie, talk show, radio show? We have full and unfettered access to the Internet and social media that exposes us to anything and everything that happens, without a censor or filter?

And mostly, why are we stigmatising something that is such a non-issue in 2017?

Gay people exist. They have for centuries. This affects you how?

So we drew parallels between the story arc of Beauty and the Beast and our current situation. So just think of The Beast as the LGBTQA community, and see if you see a resemblance.

1. The Beast lives in his castle behind locked gates, does his own thing, stays out of trouble.

He lives here.

People he has hurt? Zero.

2. The Beast looks different, which makes him different from what society deems to be accepted, so he’s just a no, lah.

Doesn’t conform to society’s standards of beauty or “normal”. Cancelled.

Misogynistic, but straight? Pass!

Ah, but brutish misogynists? Totally acceptable. #MalePower! *bicep curl*

3. People don’t have anything to do so they create rumours and don’t take time to understand the situation.

“You know ah, your neighbour’s daughter that one every night also got different car drop her home. So many boyfriend wan you know!” “Aunty, it’s called Grab car.”

Idle minds + crowd mentality = the overarching discourse for society.

4. Someone goes and batu api the situation.

“Let’s overract over something that doesn’t really concern us!”

No real explanation needed.

5. No one wins.

Basically, “Die beast, die!”

Okay la. In the original, the Beast is saved in time by Belle and turns into a heartthrob and they live like a Ken and Barbie doll happily ever after. [Do we need to put a spoiler alert here?]

But as for us in Malaysia waiting for news or hope on the movie release…….?

(A tale as old as) Time will tell.