Beauty and the Beast Makes History with Disney's First Gay Character
GLAAD has finally gotten their way, and Disney is giving the LGBTQ community what it has been wanting for a while now. A truly gay Disney character. As it stands, March is going to be a massive month for movies. With Kong: Skull Island, Logan and Power Rangers all set to debut this month, there will be plenty of reasons to get off the couch and head to a theater near you. As excited as people are for many of the major releases coming out this month, Disney is likely going to run away with it when their live-action version of Beauty and the Beast comes out. Anticipation for the movie has been insanely high but now it has been revealed that the movie will have quite a bit of significance beyond box office dominance. It turns out Beauty and the Beast is going to feature the first gay character ever in a Disney movie.
Director Bill Condon was recently interviewed by Attitude about the upcoming Beauty and the Beast and he made it very clear; the movie will feature Disney's first ever "exclusively gay moment" in a movie. The moment will be between Le Fou, who is played by Josh Gad and Gaston, who is being played by Luke Evans. Here is what Bill Condon had to say about it.
"Le Fou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston. 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."
On one hand, this feels like something that has been a long time coming, but Beauty and the Beast feels like a very good place for it. A movie like this isn't likely to suffer at all at the box office with the inclusion of this "exclusively gay moment." Disney is at the very top of its game and is more popular than it has ever been. Between Star Wars, the Marvel Cinematic Universe and their live-action remakes, not to mention Pixar and their wildly popular original animated features like Zootopia, they are experiencing unprecedented levels of success in the industry. So the decision to include something like this in Beauty and the Beast is significant. Being that Attitude is a gay magazine, their editor-in-chief Matt Cain felt so as well and had this to say about it.
"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 one 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."
Not only is this new version of Beauty and the Beast going to feature La Fou as a gay character, but Emma Watson also talked with the publication a bit about the "underlying queer sensibility" that exists with her character Belle and Dan Stevens' Beast. Disney apparently wasn't afraid to let Bill Condon included these themes in the movie beyond a single moment. Here is what she had to say about it.
"I think it was really important for Dan and I to develop and understand why each of our characters feel as if they don't fit in. I certainly felt watching the original that I wanted to know more about why Belle feels that she's different and why she wants to be different and why she's naturally different."
The cast for Beauty and the Beast includes Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson. In addition to Oscar-winner Bill Condon in the director's chiar, Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken is returning to do the music for this new live-action version, since he also composed the score for the original animated movie. Disney's Beauty and the Beast is set for release on March 10.