2017’s live action Beauty and the Beast was hit or miss — the biggest miss being Emma Watson’s vocals — but it has a special place in our hearts for introducing Disney’s first on-screen queer character. Gaston’s sidekick LeFou, played by Frozen’s Josh Gad, was given given extra dimension when it was heavily implied that he was in love with his burly bestie and then ended the film with his own requited male love interest. They even share a dance in the final scene, something director Bill Condon later referred to as a “a nice, exclusively gay moment,” which sounds like how you’d describe a Men.com scene.
According to Gad, it was his idea to make LeFou gay. While chatting with Andy Cohen on Radio Andy, Gad explained that the production team “decided that LeFou’s happy ending would be to dance with another man” at his insistence.
“It was my pitch, that’s how I really wanted the movie to end,” he said. “I was so amazed they let us do it. That became such a controversial thing, apparently, even though it was only three seconds of screen time... We never put a spotlight on it. We never meant to put a spotlight on it. It became a conflated, weird controversy.”
Disney has been slow to introduce queer characters into their films. There are almost no gays on its recently launched streaming service, Disney+, but thankfully Marvel is finally picking up the slack.
And next year, Disney will introduce its first explicitly gay lead character in Jungle Cruise, which stars Emily Blunt and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The character, played by Jack Whitehall,l was briefly glimpsed in the first trailer for the film, although he didn’t speak. Hopefully, he has a few lines in the film.