Disney’s first ever gay character will not be seen by moviegoers under 16 years of age in Russia. Russia’s Culture Ministry Officials’ 16+ rating on Beauty and the Beast took into account a three-year-old law forbidding the spread of gay propaganda among kids.
The gay character is LeFou (which is French for “the idiot” or “the fool” or “the insane”), who is the bumbling sidekick of antagonist Gaston. Director Bill Condon said that LeFou is indeed gay, “somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston…” He is clearly confused about what he wants.
The actor Josh Gad — who voiced the character Olaf in the previous Disney film Frozen — portrays LeFou. Condon said Gad makes something really subtle and delicious about a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie, but it did not sit well with some government officials across the world.
Some people see nothing nice about the character. Russian politician Vitaly Milonov had even lobbied for the film to be banned entirely, after considering it unsuitable for minors.
While the movie is deemed as family-friendly in its origin country, some cinema owners in the United States have begged to disagree. The owners of the Henagar Drive-In Theatre in the state of Alabama will not screen the film.
Some individuals have re-tweeted Henagar Drive-In Theatre’s stance, as follows: “When companies continually force their views on us we need to take a stand. We all make choices and I am making mine.” The statement goes further by implying that you can’t have God or Jesus sitting beside you when the film being shown has a gay character.
Controversy Also Hounds “Beauty”
Emma Watson, who portrays Belle in the film, has suffered negative feedback for posing in a revealing outfit in a glossy magazine. People have been noticing Emma ever since she grew up into a fine, independent and beautiful lady.
Even in Sofia Coppola’s The Ring Bling, where she is shown in bed in the early part of the film, she cuts an attractive figure. In the controversial photo in Vanity Fair, the actress is clad in a scanty top that leaves little to the imagination,
It prompted readers to ask if that is what a feminist does (she has a feminist book club, as well). The former Harry Potter fan favorite responded: ““Feminism is about giving women choice… It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality.” Beauty and the Beast come alive in theaters worldwide on March 17.