Walt Disney has pulled all screenings of Beauty and the Beast in Malaysia rather than allow the film’s gay content to be cut.

The Malaysian branch of Walt Disney said yesterday that the film, which was due to be shown in cinemas from Wednesday, had been postponed due to an “internal review”.

And the multi-billion-pound animation company has now barred the film from being shown by any cinema in the country after it found out censors had cut the film’s gay scene.

The live-action remake is the first major Disney film to feature an unambiguously gay character, with Gaston’s sidekick LeFou shown dancing with a man near the end of the film.

Because of this, the film was altered by Malaysia’s Film Censorship Board, with board chairman Abdul Halim telling AP: “We have approved [the film], but there is a minor cut involving a gay moment.

“It is only one short scene, but it is inappropriate because many children will be watching this movie.”

Disney does not agree with this stance. A representative for the company told Bloomberg: “The film has not been and will not be cut for Malaysia.”

Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia, with those found guilty of homosexual offences facing up to 20 years in prison.

All gay characters shown in films in Malaysia must die or repent, often ‘becoming straight’ by the end of the film.

As recently as 2015, current Malasyian prime minister Najib Razak compared the LGBT community to Islamic State, saying both were enemies of Islam.

Last year, five Disney films ranked in Malaysia’s top 20 box office draws, grossing more than $21 million in the country.

Russia has banned anyone under 16 from seeing the film about a woman falling in love with a buffalo-like animal because of its gay moment.

The film has caused controversy in the US as well, with one drive-in cinema in Alabama refusing to show the film – despite having also (accidentally) scheduled a film about drag queens in its upcoming screenings.

The furore began when director Bill Condon told Attitude Magazine that the character LeFou, Gaston’s manservant, has confusing feelings about the major character in the new film.

Some, however, believe that Le Fou was gay in the original film.