PROVO, Utah – “Beauty and the Beast” is a tale as old as time, but Disney added an element of surprise to its new film: the first ever openly gay character.
Director Bill Condon made the statement before the movie opened in box offices that there “is a nice, exclusively gay moment” featuring Gaston’s sidekick LeFou. Some audiences have been extremely supportive of this news, whereas others have not. Outrage over the portrayal of this character led to boycotts around the world, including at a drive-in in Alabama. Government officials in Malaysia even requested Disney edit out the gay scene, but Disney refused.
Two people in Provo who saw the film said they didn’t have problems with the character.
“It wasn’t extreme. There was no kissing. It was just implied that he was gay. Which is fine, because gay people do exist,” Lauren Jury said.
“I think it was very innocent, and I think Disney did a great job,” Aubree Weichers said.
The film is currently No. 1 in the world despite the controversy, earning nearly $350 million worldwide since it opened this weekend.
Many audience members even claimed they missed the gay scene.
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