Set for release on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, “Beauty and the Beast” represents a first for the Walt Disney Company.
Walt Disney Co’s live-action adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast,” one of the most anticipated movies of the year, will feature a gay character for the first time in Disney’s history, according to the film’s director.
Director Bill Condon said in an interview with Attitude, a British gay lifestyle magazine, that LeFou, the goofy sidekick to the film’s primary villain, Gaston, will come to terms with his sexuality. The character is played by actor Josh Gad.
“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” Condon said.
“And that’s what has its payoff at the end, which I don’t want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie,” he told Attitude.
From USA Today:
Beauty and the Beast director Bill Condon revealed in an interview with Attitude that Gaston’s sidekick, LeFou, played by Josh Gad, will explore his sexuality in a “small but significant subplot” during the film.
“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” Condon said in the interview. “He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realising that he has these feelings. And Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that’s what has its payoff at the end, which I don’t want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”
Although Disney films may have hinted at homosexuality in the past, including the speculation over Frozen‘s Elsa, this would mark the first openly gay character to be featured in one — a landmark moment that has the potential to impact its global audience, especially in countries where LGBT representation is even less visible on screen.
Here’s a clip:
From the U.K. Telegraph:
Matt Cain, editor-in-chief of Attitude magazine, said: “It may have been a long time coming but this is a watershed moment for Disney.
“By representing same-sex attraction in this short but explicitly gay scene, the studio is sending out a message that this is normal and natural – and this is a message that will be heard in every country of the world, even countries where it’s still socially unacceptable or even illegal to be gay.
“It’s only a first step towards creating a cinematic world that reflects the world in which many of us are now proud to live.“But it’s a step in the right direction and I applaud Disney for being brave enough to make it – and in doing so hopefully helping to change attitudes and bring about real social progress.”
On Feb. 23, Disney XD aired an episode of “Star vs. the Forces of Evil” titled ” Just Friends ,” which featured the main characters attending a concert. When the charismatic boy band performs a romantic song, the venue full of concert-goers starts smooching, including several same-sex couples in the background.
The episode marked the first-ever same-sex kiss in a Disney cartoon.
As of this writing, Disney has yet to officially respond to the revelation.
Image: Courtesy Walt Disney Company