Disney’s first truly gay character in the live-action Beauty and the Beast has been met with significant backlash not just in the U.S., but now around the globe.
After director Bill Condon told Attitude magazine that LeFou, played by Josh Gad, would have a “nice, exclusively gay moment” in the film, the remake has become a target for those who are anti-LGBTQ.
In response to Condon’s comment, the Henagar Drive-In Theater in Alabama canceled show times for the film, with the owner saying in a Facebook post, “If I can't sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me then we have no business showing it.”
Tension around the gay LeFou moment leapt from conservative small towns to the international stage when reports said Russia was considering banning the movie in the country under its “gay propaganda” law.
Disney has always hinted at queer characters in its movies, most notably sauna-owner Oaken in the 2013 hit Frozen. However, a direct acknowledgement of queer sexuality has always been absent—until now.
Beauty and the Beast is currently in theaters (that is, if the owner is OK with it). For more on LeFou, watch this clip below.