By now we are sure you are all well aware that the live-action version of Beauty And The Beast is gearing up to feature Disney’s first ever gay character – but not without controversy.
This mess of a story all began when the movies director Bill Condon bragged about including an ‘exclusively gay’ moment in the film. What ‘exclusively gay’ means exactly is quite lost on us, and while this is the first instance of homosexuality inferred in a Disney movie it is by no means as revolutionary, or groundbreaking for the company as Condon has tried to make out.
The gay character in question is Le Fou (played by Josh Gad) whose companionship with the villainous Gaston toes the line between obsession to attraction. Basically, the role is that of comedic relief seeing the audience laugh at his foolish antics and silly ‘crush’.
Le Fou is not explicitly stated as homosexual, and does not act upon any of his underlying tendencies but his sexuality is an underlying subtext throughout. Gad camps up his role, and falls into many old-fashioned tropes of stereotypical gay characters flouncing around the screen lusting after the straight man.
The ultimate pay off comes toward the end of the movie when a host of male and female party guests dance with one another, and a man who is wearing drag dances with Le Fou as the pair smile for around 4 seconds on screen time. That is it. That is the ‘exclusive gay’ moment that we are supposed to be thankful for.
The way that homosexuality is handled in the movie is anything but remarkable, with just as much negative connotation weighing out the positive impact of having this displayed on screen.
After backlash from the LGBT community, director Condon and actor Gad have since downplayed their original ‘revolutionary’ comments into what it really is, a minor wink to the audience.
Russia have slapped an adult rating on the movie now due to the news stories detailing the homosexuality present, and a cinema in Alabama have pulled the movie from featuring entirely.
Disney have begun to feature openly gay characters throughout the television shows, which have gone down well with the LGBT community but the awkward shoe-horning of this into the movie could have been handled far better, with many questioning why Cogsworth and Lumiere could not have been the ones to have a homosexual relationship.