'Moonlight' Might Not Be Shown in China Because of Gay Themes

·Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

Censorship of American movies has been a subject of note lately. After reports of an “exclusively gay moment” in Beauty and the Beast, there were questions as to whether foreign countries would screen it. Malaysia nearly didn’t and Russia gave it an “adults-only” rating.

China, however, allowed the film. The People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party tweeted, “Controversial gay moment kept in Disney’s #BeautyAndTheBeast… requires no guidance for minors.”

Jharrel Jerome and Ashton Sander in ‘Moonlight’ (Photo: David Bornfriend/A24/courtesy Everett Collection)
Jharrel Jerome and Ashton Sander in ‘Moonlight’ (Photo: David Bornfriend/A24/courtesy Everett Collection)

The LGBTQ community of China was pleased, but there might be a new battle brewing over Moonlight as the Best Picture winner might run afoul of Chinese censor. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a Chinese version of Netflix (iQiyi) has already bought streaming rights.

“Sources tell THR that the Moonlight acquisition was made without prior censorship clearance and iQiyi’s online release plans remain uncertain,” reported THR. There is also question as to whether it will show at the Beijing International Film Festival.

‘Beauty and the Beast’ passed Chinese censors, but ‘Moonlight’ might not. (Photo: Disney)
‘Beauty and the Beast’ passed Chinese censors, but ‘Moonlight’ might not. (Photo: Disney)

Chinese indie director and activist Fan Popo told THR he doubts the movie’s release will be approved, but he hopes it will. “It would also be good news for the whole Chinese movie audience. Moonlight is a beautiful and thoughtful film,” he said.

Watch: The Cast of ‘Moonlight’ Didn’t Expect This Oscar Love But They’re Enjoying It

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