Family Equality Council applauds Disney’s decision to stand by what has been described as the studio’s first “exclusively gay moment,” in the face of pressure to cut the scene from censors in countries where homosexuality remains illegal, and domestic pressure from conservative Christian groups threatening to boycott Disney.
The scene in question appears in the forthcoming live action release of Disney classic Beauty and the Beast, which opens in theaters in the US today. In an interview published earlier this month, director Bill Condon explained that the character LeFou (played by Josh Gad), sidekick to the film’s antagonist Gaston (Luke Evans), is “somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston.” Condon summed up the subplot by casting LeFou’s character as “somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings.”
As the nation’s leading advocate for current and future LGBTQ parents, Family Equality Council is pleased to see Disney’s increasing comfort with including LGBTQ characters in a way that truly reflects the family, friends and communities in which our children are growing up. Disney has historically been a champion of the LGBTQ community, and we are all so grateful for this most recent and courageous stand.
In response to the flurry of news coverage in recent days, Family Equality Council CEO Rev. Stan J. Sloan said: “It is critically important for those in LGBTQ families – both children and adults – to see their identities reflected and affirmed on screen as a normal part of society. We welcome Disney’s decision to lead by example with the inclusion of a gay character in Beauty and the Beast and we hope that it serves as a catalyst for others in the industry.”
For more discussion of this moment in the Beauty in the Beast live action remake, check out this interview with cast member Emma Watson: