All conservative hell seems to have broken loose since director Bill Condon revealed last week that his live-action Beauty and the Beast movie would feature Disney’s first “exclusively gay moment.”
“It may have been a long time coming but this is a watershed moment for Disney,” Condon told Attitude of the twist for Josh Gad’s character LeFou, Gaston’s sidekick.
First came news that the Henagar Drive-In Theater in Alabama would not screen Beauty and the Beast if it featured a gay character. “If I can’t sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me then we have no business showing it,” wrote the theater owners on Facebook.
After a boycott on LifePetitions urged people to mail postcards “expressing your concern” to Disney, evangelical preacher Franklin Graham called for a Christian boycott of the film in a viral Facebook post: “They’re trying to push the LGBT agenda into the hearts and minds of your children—watch out!”
BBC is now reporting that the film may not screen in Russia if its found in violation of the country’s “gay propaganda” laws. Could this be much anti-gay ado about nothing?
“It’s all been overblown,” says Condon in a new chat with ScreenCrush. “Because it’s just this, it’s part of just what we had fun with,” he continues. “I feel like the kind of thing has been, I wish it were—I love the way it plays pure when people don’t know and it comes as a nice surprise… Why is it a big deal?”
Condon echoed these statements to USA Today, saying, “To me, I have to say my heart sinks a little [that we’re talking about this moment]. I like the idea of it coming as this surprise, and I hope people don’t know where it’s coming.”
Spoiler alert: EW, which has screened the film, reveals that the scenes in question involve LeFou “flirting with Gaston” and “dancing with another male character.”
Gad, however, remains “very proud” of the scene, telling press at the film’s recent premiere that it’s “an incredible moment and it’s subtle, but I think it’s effective.”
It should be noted that the animated blockbuster Frozen, in which Gad voiced snowman Olaf, was also accused by some right-wingers of pushing a gay agenda. “Oh, I love it,” the actor told The Advocate in 2015. “It fills me with such pride when someone says that Frozen is pushing a gay agenda. It just makes me laugh.” Gad went on to say that he was “so proud that ‘Let It Go’ has become an LGBT anthem.”
Gad, who revealed that his older brother is gay, also told The Advocate that he was eager to tackle a gay role. “If there are any great gay roles available for a young bear like myself, I’ll take them,” he said. “You guys can trust me.”