In 1991, Disney produced the highly successful animated film, “Beauty and the Beast.” Disney has now released a live action adaptation on March 17, 2017 and many people were outraged. The scene that caused such uproar features LeFou, played by Josh Gad, Gaston’s accomplice, dancing with a man. The scene lasts just a few seconds before the end credits. In the Disney cartoon released in 1991, Lefou and Gaston also danced pressed together singing “Gaston.”
Was it okay for the cartoon version to have men dancing together? The scene in the cartoon lasts longer than the scene in the live action film, so why are people angered by it? No one paid much attention to the two men dancing in the cartoon version because it was mostly directed towards a younger audience who wouldn’t interpret the scene as a statement promoting homosexuality. However the live action film was directed towards an older audience who may think this scene is trying to convey a message of gay acceptance.
“LeFou is confused about what he wants. He’s somebody who’s just realizing that he’s feeling this way,” said movie director Bill Condon in interview with “Attitude” magazine. “LeFou one day wants to be Gaston, then another day wants to kiss Gaston.”
Many believe that homosexuality shouldn’t be featured in a Disney movie that young viewers will watch. It’s not just about hiding homosexuality from children, some believe it goes against their religion.
“I think it depends on your views and beliefs of the Bible. I don’t think movies should be canceled because of something like this,” said senior Christian Baker, a Christian at Loy Norrix explaining his thoughts on the scene.
The outrage grew to petitions, boycotts and cancellations of the film. People aren’t taking the scene lightly, as viewers believe the scene is a bit too much for a Disney movie. A lot of religious views are falling into light.
According to the CNN article, Alabama theater shuns ‘Beauty and the Beast’ over gay ‘moment,’ Henagar drive-in movie theatre in Alabama is refusing to play the highly anticipated film stating that if they can’t sit through a film with the Lord beside them then they have no business showing it.
“Alabama is very conservative, it’s their culture. They’re deeply rooted in their beliefs and not very open minded, ” said Loy Norrix Principal Rodney Prewitt, a former resident of Alabama.
Russian officials are being pressured into banning the film as well, to prevent a “gay moment” from evolving, which is in response to the “homosexual propaganda” law set in 2013, the law bans the distribution of materials displaying “nontraditional” sexual relations to minors.
According to an article on New York Times, Disney refused to cut the scene for Malaysia government censors to follow their Malaysian guidelines of showing LGBT free movies. The Malaysian Censorship Board believes the scene promotes homosexuality.
“I want to say that I’m really getting sick of this,” said film director Bill Condon. “It’s been seen. It’s the smallest thing being blown out of proportion.”
Some really seemed to enjoy the film, despite all of the controversy. The movie is great for those who are willing to watch despite the so called ‘gay moment’.
Sophomore Marissa Jacquez, who didn’t even notice the gay moment, adored the film, “Oh, I loved that movie, my favorite scene is when they were singing ‘Be Our Guest.’”
Even though many have been angered by the film, it has gotten a lot of great reviews since its release. The film received a 3 out of 4 rating from “Rolling Stone Magazine.” The film opened with $462 million gross in box office according to “Forbes” magazine. The scene doesn’t seem like it was a problem for those who watched it.
Could a few second scene really be that noticeable, especially to children? The live action film was very close to the 1991 animated version but also very similar to the book by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, published in 1740 where Belle’s father was imprisoned by the Beast for stealing one of his roses for Belle. The film is loaded with songs and fun characters that will have you laughing and smiling throughout the film.