We all know about the live-action Beauty and the Beast movie that’s due to be released on 17th March 2017. Yay! So why aren’t people happy?
Well, it’s the tale as old as time. Time are a’changing, and people don’t like it.
A few weeks ago, it was reported that Disney had made the decision that one of their Beauty and the Beast characters was going to be portrayed as gay. And good on them. In the cartoon version of the film, Gaston has a lowly sidekick, LeFou. Neither LeFou nor Gaston have any love interests (apart from the obvious, but Gaston’s love interest – or should we say, obsession – didn’t turn out very well), but there is nothing mentioned about a love interest between them. Disney, however, have decided, ‘heck, it’s 2017, we’ve come on leaps and bounds, so why not?’
Unfortunately, not everyone thinks like this. Disney has now indefinitely pulled the screening of Beauty and the Beast from all movie theaters in Malaysia. This is because Disney is refusing to cut the scene that suggests that LeFou (played by Josh Gad) is gay. The director of the film and Josh Gad have both said that the scene is subtle and that LaFou is a character who wants to be Gaston one day and kiss him the next. It’s infatuation. And that can happen to anyone, of any shape, size or sexuality. Am I right, or am I right?
LeFou actor, Gad, has also reported that he thinks it’s amazing the studio is sending out the message that being gay is both normal and natural. But as subtle as it may be, the concept still hasn’t gone down well.
In Malaysia, homosexual activities are still illegal, so campaigners have demanded that Disney should cut the film to ensure no laws are broken. The chairman of Malaysia’s Film Censorship Board has recognized that the scene is only short, but says that it is inappropriate because children will be watching the film. The Walt Disney Company responded with a statement saying that they were going to pull the plug on Malaysian screening, rather than cut a new edition.
Malaysia isn’t the only country finding issues with the live-action fairy tale. Russia has already given the film an adult rating because of the ‘homosexual propaganda’ (their words) that it contains. A drive-in theater in the devout religious state of Alabama has also announced that they will not be showing the film, because of this scene.
The internet has had a lot to say about these recent developments, and many aren’t happy with the responses that the inclusion of homosexual scene has had. Many have questioned these countries and their laws…and wondering why these aforementioned countries are okay with showing a woman having a relationship with a half-man-half-buffalo/bear/gorilla/lion/wild boar/wolf but not okay with the inclusion of homosexuality.
Beauty and the Beast star, Ewan McGregor has also had his say and fired back at these reports. ‘It’s just like, he’s a gay character, and it’s 2017 for [insert expletive here] sake.’ Our sentiments exactly.