I don’t know if you’ve heard, but people want to boycott the new live action remake of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast because there’s an “exclusively gay moment” in it. According to director Bill Condon, Lefou (Josh Gad) is all about Gaston (Luke Evans) in the new film.
See, apparently, the far right never saw the original, animated Beauty and the Beast because it’s pretty gay already. I mean, as comedian Mike Lawrence pointed out on twitter:
What? You don’t remember that hero-worship-meets-love-letter song? Oh, Let me remind you:
I suppose it could be read as a man singing about his “best friend” but I never once saw this as anything other than Lefou hitting on Gaston.
Disney has always had a complicated history with LGBT inclusion. Their Gay Days at their parks are not officially sponsored by the parks, and their films have always been very subtle in their LGBT representation. Frozen’s Elsa is likely the most well-known example of coded gay characters in Disney films. Disney even included and explicitly gay character in Frozen in the person of Oaken the shopkeeper who introduces Anna to family of 4 kids and a man. While this is a quick shot, it’s pretty clear what they were depicting. And Toy Story’s Ken is pretty clearly played as camp gay while The Lion King’s Scar and even back to Peter Pan’s Captain Hook have coding in there that is supposed to be read in a pretty gay way. That those last 2 are villains is probably not an accident…
Anyway, Disney’s inclusion of an explicitly gay character is fantastic. For representation and for reality. Look, besides the whole “gay people actually do exist” argument (and, we were kids too, it’s nice to watch a movie and find out you’re not broken), the LGBT community loves Disney: they present stories of outsiders saving the kingdom, love triumphing over hate, finding your place in the world, and dreams coming true. All are ideals that young LGBT kids long to believe.
So, sure boycott Beauty and the Beast if you must. But, if you do, remember Disney has been trying to get us into it’s movies for years and also, let’s remember what Beauty and the Beast is even about
Beauty and the Beast opens in theaters 3/17/17