In the remake, LeFou is navigating his romantic feelings for Gaston.
When it was announced that the new live action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast would feature a gay character, most fans were pleased to see Disney taking a stand for diversity in film. The new take on the 1991 animated classic sees Josh Gad's character LeFou have an obvious crush on Luke Evans's Gaston. It's the kind of dynamic often hinted at in films of this nature — Frozen, Hercules, and The Little Mermaid have all been embraced by the LGBTQ community — they're just a bit more direct about it here.
But since the news broke, conservatives have threatened to boycott the film, and reports now claim the Russian government is considering banning the movie all together. Russian critics claim the movie is in opposition to a controversial 2013 law that prohibits "gay propaganda" aimed at children. Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky has promised to review the film closely before its release date after a lawmaker described it as "shameless propaganda of sin."
Josh Gad as LeFou.
The film has faced similar controversy closer to home with an Alabama theater refusing to screen the film. It stated on Facebook: "If we cannot 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."
While the decisions to ban and boycott the movie are so obviously homophobic and ridiculous they hardly warrant exploration, many observers took to social media over the weekend to point out another logical disparity. In a film that's literally named Beauty and the Beast, and largely focuses on navigating an interspecies romance between a woman and some kind of wolf/dog/buffalo hybrid, it's pretty off-topic to get worked up over a subplot where a dude has a crush on another guy.
some ppl are boycotting beauty and the beast for having a gay character but the girl falls in love w a BUFFALO?? homophobes are ridiculous
— kya (@nykaiya) March 5, 2017
Beauty and the Beast has a gay character!? Disguting. Children need to know that love should only be between a woman and a horned wolf-bear.
— Chris R. Wright (@chrisrwright) March 5, 2017
Some of y'all are mad because there's a gay character in beauty and the beast but the whole movie is about a buffalo-woman romance ?? pic.twitter.com/EhdywPr9O5
— Gabe (@LiterallyGabe) March 5, 2017
Text Wendy Syfret
Images via IMDB