The truth about the live action Beauty and the Beast movie seemed to be topic du jour on social media when it was released. The movie opened on March 17, 2017 but the director, Bill Condon, allegedly let it slip before release that it will feature an openly gay character which would be a first for Disney. A brouhaha erupted as conservative Christian Evangelical, Franklin Graham called for a boycott of the movie on the grounds of “the indoctrination of our children.” Having seen the movie, I believe there is nothing further from the truth.
The controversy surrounds the character Le Fou, played by Josh Gad. If you are familiar with the animated version, Le Fou is Gaston’s sidekick; he is a bumbling idiot who will do anything for Gaston. He lives to serve Gaston. That character issue stays the same in the live-action version. Here’s what I observed for questionable homosexual content in the movie.
Questionable Homosexual Content in Live-Action Beauty and the Beast
- LeFou is flamboyant. He’s very animated in his gestures as well as having some effeminate qualities. This is no different than the cartoon. I’m not sure I would have thought him to be gay based on this quality alone. The movie is set in pre revolution France where men wore wigs and makeup as well as acted in a flamboyant manner. Anyone who has done any sort of reading or history study of that time period would not think LeFou was displaying homosexual tendencies. Since the idea was already planted in my brain, it was not a stretch to see it. Will children notice it? Probably not.
- LeFou is smitten with Gaston as is the rest of the town. Gaston is the hero of everyone, male and female. LeFou makes some quick lovey eyes at various points in the movie. Again, would I have noticed it if I wasn’t already looking for it? Likely not.
- During the song, Gaston, LeFou gives a shoulder/hand/ear rub to Gaston, which he then turns over to a town hobo. This song is a tribute to Gaston, so it’s not over the top that this would happen. While LeFou may think this is a loving moment based on his demeanor, no one else in the scene alludes to this.
- There are one or two facial gestures/homosexual innuendos that adults are going to pick up on immediately. Most children’s movies have a joke or two aimed at the parents. This is no different.
- During the fight scene, the wardrobe fends off three attackers by dressing them as women. Two of them run away while one blows her a kiss and clearly likes the outfit. He runs off while the wardrobe sings . The song is really drowned out by the battle scene, so it’s not easy to understand what the wardrobe is singing.
- Gaston grabs LeFou during the battle scene and their faces are super close. This is not sexual in nature at all but I included it so you would know. Gaston is clearly angry and says less than nice things to LeFou who realizes that he has been using his devotion all this time. LeFou then begins helping the castle defeat the townspeople at the behest of the teapot, Mrs. Potts.
Edited to add:
Apparently LeFou switches dancing partners at the end from a woman to a man. The dancing scene is focused on Belle and the newly human Beast . You would have to be looking for LeFou to notice this action.
Here’s my opinion:
There is nothing to worry about in this movie. The cinematography and the musical score are exquisite. The story line stays true to the animated version. It might bring up a question or two from older children about why LeFou would do all that for Gaston or why he acts so feminine. We had a great conversation about how placing hero worship on others and how that could get you in trouble. As for the effeminate, I explained it as part of the time period. Children are going to be so entranced by the talking objects and the Beast. I believe that this movie is clearly within the PG guidelines with no LGBT agenda, hidden or otherwise. It’s a great movie that can lead to excellent conversations with your child if you allow it. It’s my personal opinion that the hype got way overblown by people looking for an agenda that wasn’t there. I’m pretty positive Disney Studios enjoyed all the attention though.