Beauty and the Controversy


Over the past couple of years, Disney has been creating live action remakes and retellings of some classic Disney movies. It began with Alice in Wonderland in 2010. One of their recent remakes, Jungle Book , won Best Visual Effects at the Oscars. On March 17, Beauty and the Beast premiered in theaters. The remake will star Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as Beast. Fans have been excited for the premiere, but some are changing their minds after Disney has introduced their first openly gay character.

It was announced that LeFou, Gaston’s friend, is gay. Lefou will be played by Josh Gad, who was the voice of Olaf in Frozen. The director of the movie stated that he will have an “exclusively gay moment;” however, they also stated that this moment is not long. This has sparked some controversy; a theater in Alabama has gone as far as banning the movie from their theater due to religious beliefs. Henagar Drive-In Theatre owner Carol Laney stated, “If we cannot take our 11 year old granddaughter and 8 year old grandson to see a movie, we have no business watching it. If I can’t sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me then we have no business showing it.” Laney has also commented on the backlash of the ban, “We are first and foremost Christians. We will not compromise on what the Bible teaches. We will continue to show family oriented films so you can feel free to come watch wholesome movies without worrying about sex, nudity, homosexuality and foul language.” One mother even canceled a trip to Disney World for her family of four because she does not support “Disney’s LGBT agenda.” She explained her reasoning on her blog This Modest Mom.

Disney has been making big steps in recent years in including LGBT characters into shows. In 2014, Disney included their first lesbian couple on the Disney Channel show Good Luck Charlie. In February, on the Disney XD cartoon Star vs the Forces of Evil, they showed two same sex couples at a concert kissing. Although the characters were never seen on the show, a main character on the 2014 Disney Channel show I Didn’t Do It mentioned that she had two fathers.