‘Beauty and the Beast’ Pushes ‘Exclusively Gay Moment’
Disney's latest is already dividing audiences well before the film's March 17 release
The director of the “Beauty and the Beast” remake has revealed that his film will feature an “exclusively gay moment.”
In an interview with Attitude magazine, director Bill Condon said the “moment” will be from the character LeFou, played by actor Josh Gad in the upcoming movie.
Director Bill Condon said the “moment” will be from the character LeFou, played by actor Josh Gad in the upcoming movie.
“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston [played by Luke Evans],” said Condon. “He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings.”
Condon revealed the feelings of LeFou won’t be so subtle by the end of the film — set to be released March 17.
“Josh [Gad] makes something really subtle and delicious out of it,” he said. “And that’s what has its payoff at the end, which I don’t want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”
Attitude Editor-in-Chief Matt Cain praised the move, writing, "By representing same-sex attraction in this short but explicitly gay scene, the studio is sending out a message that this is normal and natural — and this is a message that will be heard in every country of the world, even countries where it's still socially unacceptable or even illegal to be gay."
A clip has been released by Disney of Josh Gad's LeFou flamboyantly singing to the character of Gaston. "For there's no man in town half as manly. Perfect, a pure paragon," Gad sings in the clip.
LeFou will mark Disney's first major gay character in one of their films. Petitions have previously been created to try to convince the company to reveal certain characters as gay in future films, like Captain America from "The Avengers" and Elsa from "Frozen."
Some have expressed concern that the first major gay character from Disney will be a flamboyant sidekick that is mostly pushed around by another character (Gaston).
"Disney: our 1st openly gay character will be in beauty and the beast. Disney: it's lefou the comedic relief character who's bullied by gaston," tweeted @milkfrogs.
"'Beauty and the Beast is going to have a gay character!' 'Oh, real—' 'It's LeFou!'" tweeted @HonestlyJon.
"'I wish disney would make gastons horrible little hobbit slave from beauty and the beast woefully gay' said no young queer kids growing up," tweeted @xfwipsx.
Other audience members are expressing concern for the moment being included in the film at all.
In a poll conducted on Twitter by conservative commentator Glenn Beck, 66 percent of responders voted they would not be seeing the new "Beauty and the Beast" movie after hearing the director's recent comments. The poll has been voted in almost 5,000 times as of this writing.
Some worry the "exclusively gay moment" will mean Disney is putting social agendas above entertainment and storytelling. "Disney promises its first 'exclusively gay moment' in 'Beauty & the Beast' – with more gay advocacy to come," tweeted conservative filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza.
Conservative commentator and author Ben Shapiro also tweeted, "So glad that Disney is including an 'exclusively gay' moment in 'Beauty and the Beast.' Means the original will remain the classic."
Around social media, the hashtag #BoycottDisney has already been taking off.
What is likely ruffling the feathers of so many viewers is the framing of Condon's words. By saying there is an "exclusively gay moment," he is suggesting that an agenda is being pushed in his PG-rated movie that has nothing to do with the actual story and that is not organic to the film.
Parents who will take their kids to see a live action version of "Beauty and the Beast" want "Beauty" and "the Beast" — not moments for filmmakers to stand on soapboxes.
To expect no films to portray gay characters or realistically mirror the world around them is foolish, of course — the most recent winner of the Academy Award's Best Picture, "Moonlight," was a film about a man coming to terms with his sexuality. But throwing an "exclusively gay moment" into a family film just for the sake of having it there seems hollow and preachy. It's something that will clearly drive many audience members away, no matter their feelings on gay marriage.
Also, was LeFou really the best character for Disney to choose as its first major gay character? Paying moviegoers will decide when Bill Condon's "Beauty and the Beast" is unleashed at the box office March 17.