Beauty and the Beast is one of the most anticipated movies this month. Starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, the live action remake of the 1991 cartoon is coming out later this month. Just weeks prior to the film’s release, however, the new movie hit a roadblock.
Take a moment to think back to the original cartoon; remember LeFou, Gaston’s little sidekick? In the upcoming film, LeFou is gay. According to director Bill Condon, the character has an “exclusively gay moment”, saying that “LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston. He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings.” As soon as the announcement reached the public it was greeted with a wide variety of responses. Some praised the move for increasing the classic tale’s inclusiveness, saying that the theme of the movie in the first place is to get to know someone before judging them. Others weren’t as excited.
Franklin Graham, an outspoken evangelist, said that “They’re trying to push the LGBT agenda into the hearts and minds of your children–watch out! Disney has the right to make their cartoons, it’s a free country. But as Christians we also have the right not to support their company. I hope Christians everywhere will say no to Disney.” Graham called for a boycott of the movie, and at least one Alabama theatre has announced that they will not show the movie.
Condon hadn’t expected the backlash from the announcement. As soon as LeFou was revealed to be gay people began demanding to know what the “gay moment” entailed. Reviewers who saw the movie pre-release have mainly said that the moment takes place towards the end of the film and involves LeFou dancing with another man.
Many different opinions have already been formed on the first gay Disney character before the movie is even out.