An Alabama theater is scrapping plans to show Disney’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast” after catching wind of the remake’s inclusion of a gay subplot.
The film’s director, Bill Condon, told Attitude magazine this week that Josh Gad’s LeFou will be shown questioning his feelings for antagonist Gaston, played by Luke Evans. “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,” Condon said, before noting that the film concludes with “a nice, exclusively gay moment.”
Gad said he was “really proud” to be a part of the milestone, telling USA Today, “What was most important to me was taking a character that is wonderful and so iconic, but is defined by cartoon conceits in the [original] movie... and expanding on that, giving him dimension, making him human.”
Thus far, critics are divided over the implications of Disney’s first gay character being a comedic sidekick who dotes on the film’s straight villain, as seen in early snippets of the musical number, “Gaston.” However, it’s already enough to prompt Alabama’s Henagar Drive-In Theatre to nix “Beauty and the Beast” from its lineup, citing its “homosexual” elements.
Henagar’s owners made the announcement in a Facebook post Thursday.
[OP: the above link now pulls up an error message saying "This Facebook post is no longer available" due to the theater having taken down its Facebook page. Not to worry: a screen cap of the original FB entry is included in an article linked at the end of this post.]
“When companies continually force their views on us we need to take a stand. We all make choices and I am making mine,” the owners wrote. “If we can not take our 11-year-old granddaughter and 8-year-old grandson to see a movie we have no business watching it. If I can’t sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me then we have no business showing it.”
The post continued, “We are first and foremost Christians. We will not compromise on what the Bible teaches.”
If The Hollywood Reporter’s review of the film is any indication, there may be more pushback ahead. “Rabid red-state homophobes may be incandescent with fury,” critic Leslie Felperin wrote, “to see how things end up for [LeFou] in the finale.”
The Huffington Post has reached out to Henagar Drive-In Theatre for further comment.
Also: Customers react to drive-in decision not to show Beauty and the Beast (Includes a screen cap of the original FB post.)