GEORGE TOWN: A Penang government official will meet the management of an arts theatre here to seek an explanation over the planned screening of a gay movie, which was subsequently cancelled.
State executive councillor Abdul Malik Kassim said an official letter was sent to the Performing Arts Centre of Penang (penangpac) on the matter, seeking clarification on why the screening had been proposed.
“Although penangpac is individually owned and has no links with the state government, as the religious affairs committee chief, I would like to meet the management to have a discussion on the matter,” he said in a statement today.
penangpac had initially planned to screen “Hot Boy Noi Loan va Cau Chuyen ve Thang Cuoi” or “Lost in Paradise”, a Vietnamese movie about two male homosexuals.
The movie had received critical acclaim despite The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney labelling it as “glossy but insipid and rife with clichés”.
As part of the theatre’s “World’s Best Movies” campaign, a poster of the free screening was uploaded on Facebook.
It was supposed to be shown at 8pm today, with a strict adults-only rule.
However, after news of the screening went viral on Facebook, penangpac announced that it would not be showing the movie.
“Due to unforeseen circumstances, the film that was scheduled for viewing has now been replaced.
“Our management said the movie is unsuitable for screening due to its sensitive subject. So we decided to replace it,” a status update on penangpac’s Facebook page read.
A protest against the screening, believed to be organised by a Muslim group, will be held at 8pm at Straits Quay, Tanjung Tokong, the retail mall where penangpac is located.