I’m pretty sure that Bill Condon wishes he had just kept his mouth shut.
Condon, director of Disney’s soon-to-be-blockbuster Beauty and the Beast, told the British magazine Attitude that one of the characters, LeFou, has a “nice, exclusively gay moment” in the film. And with those words, an otherwise innocuous PG film became a flashpoint to the still surprisingly lively culture wars weeks before its release.
Some people loved the concept of a “gay moment” in a Disney flick, of course. Others—mainly Christians—were horrified. Before the movie was even been screened for review, many were calling for a boycott of Disney. One theater in Alabama is refusing to screen the film. The Faith Driven Consumer organization says that, because of the inclusion of a gay character, 95% of faith-driven consumers won’t buy a ticket to the Disney flick. And Condon has since said that he’s “sort of sick” of the whole brouhaha.
But in all the talk about Beauty and the Beast’s “moment” (which literally amounts to just very short, comical dance, a couple of asides and a handful of seconds of screen time) we’ve lost sight of how strangely, sneakily Christian Disney’s core story is. Take a look at these three examples.