The highly-anticipated live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast will reportedly feature a gay character and Disney’s first-ever “exclusively gay moment” onscreen.
In an interview with Attitude magazine, the film’s director, Bill Condon, opened up about what the magazine described as the updated film’s “treasure trove of gay secrets.”
“LeFou (Josh Gad) is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston (Luke Evans),” Condon says.
“He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings. And Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that’s what has its pay-off at the end, which I don’t want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie,” Condon explains.
The PG-rated film will also feature a feminist Belle, according to actress Emma Watson.
“In the animated movie, it’s her father who is the inventor, and we actually co-opted that for Belle,” Watson told Entertainment Weekly.
Attitude editor-in-chief Matt Cain praised Disney for bringing LGBT representation to the mainstream.
“It may have been a long time coming but this is a watershed moment for Disney,” Cain said. “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 one in which many of us are now proud to live,” Cain continued. “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 Tuesday, Disney released a short clip online featuring a flamboyant Gad singing his ode to Gaston. “For there’s no man in town half as manly. Perfect, a pure paragon,” Gad sings.
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast opens in theatres March 17. The film is directed by Bill Condon and stars Dan Stevens, Emma Watson, Luke Evans, Ewan McGregor, and Josh Gad.
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