A few weeks ago Disney announced that it’s latest film, a live action remake of Beauty & the Beast, would feature its first gay character. Naturally, the whole world had a massive bitch fit about it.
LeFou, who is sidekick to villain Gaston & is played by Josh Gad, will be the first openly gay character in a Disney film.
“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” said Bill Condon, director of the film in an interview with the Telegraph. “He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings.”
Condon has also praised actor Josh Gad on the way he’s played the role: “…Josh [Gad] makes something really subtle and delicious out of it, and that’s what has its pay-off at the end, which I don’t want to give away. But it’s a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”
But whilst yes, there are loads of people celebrating it (rightly so), there are also those who are opposing it. Of course there’s all the homophobic people, organisations & countries being all “blah blah what about the children this is disgusting” (idiots), but then there’s also a massive wave of people claiming that while they themselves are big LGBT supporters, they don’t like how Disney is trying to force it into one of their films, then making a big statement about it.
I’m going to talk about that latter group of people.
Disney has also made a massively bold move by refusing to cut said “gay scene” out of the film for it to be able to be shown in Malaysia – a country where homosexual activity is illegal & punishable by a prison sentence or corporal punishment. Gay characters can be shown in films in their country, but only if they are portrayed negatively or repent. This is a real thing that still exists. Just because you live in a country where the majority of people are tolerant of people being something other than straight, doesn’t mean the whole world is on the same page.
Think about this, please – if you are not supportive of LeFou being portrayed as a homosexual character, then you’re not fully supportive of the LGBT community. It may sound harsh, but it is as simple as that. You can’t “support” a community if you’re unwilling for it to be represented or normalised.
If you think this way, I’m not trying to belittle you. I’m trying to get you to see why this is so important that you don’t make a big deal out of it. Also – the film is literally about a woman falling in love with a fucking wildebeest. You’ve been fine with that premise your entire life.
This is HUGE. It’s 2017. Disney isn’t doing this to stir shit up & put themselves in the headlines. They’re DISNEY – they don’t need extra marketing, especially on a massive film like this. They’re doing this because they’ve acknowledged that it’s about fucking time.
Bill Condon has been incredible. He’s treated the whole story exactly as it should be – being firm in his beliefs that it really isn’t a big deal. It’s a tiny bit about a minor character. It’s not detracting from the story at all, just making it more realistic & fleshing it out around the edges. It’s one nice moment. Everyone’s blown it completely out of proportion.
If you’re not happy about it, fine. That’s your problem. But think about the millions of people who will watch this & see that yeah, gay is normal. Think of the millions of kids who will watch it & will be taught that it’s fine. Think how they’ll grow up to not even consider hating another person just because of who they might have a crush on.
It’s old news guys. Celebrate it – & work on helping everyone to accept it.
Beauty & the Beast is in cinemas today, March 17th.