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After the world (and us) got extremely excited to see Disney’s first gay moment and character on the big screen, Beauty and the Beast director Bill Condon is now backpedaling.
When Condon’s interview with Attitude was published earlier this week, everyone was talking about LeFou being honestly portrayed in the live-action remake as a queer character. “And that’s what has its payoff at the end, which I don’t want to give away,” he said. “But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”
However, in a new interview, Condon is now saying we all need to pump our brakes and that it’s not that big of a deal. He forgot that this thing called the internet exists, because he seems to be overwhelmed at how viral his comments went. So viral, The New York Times picked them up as well.
“Oh God. Can I just tell you? It’s all been overblown. Because it’s just this, it’s part of just what we had fun with,” he told Screencrush. “You saw the movie, yeah? You know what I mean. I feel like the kind of thing has been, I wish it were – I love the way it plays pure when people don’t know and it comes as a nice surprise.”
Maybe he is worried since the ‘exclusively gay moment’ came out of the closet, there has been some backlash from conservatives in the United States and abroad.
One movie theater in Alabama actually decided to cancel the film’s run on its screens. On Facebook, the owners wrote, “For those that do not know Beauty and the Beast is “premiering” their first homosexual character. The producer also says at the end of the movie “there will be a surprise for same-sex couples.” If we can not take our 11 year old grand daughter and 8 year old grandson to see a movie we have no business watching it. If I can’t sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me then we have no business showing it.”
Do God and Jesus take their popcorn with butter, or without?
Drama isn’t happening just in rural Alabama, but also in Russia. A ruling party in Russia has sought to have the film banned for peddling “gay propaganda.” Vitaly Milonov wrote to the culture minister, Vladimir Medinsky, asking him to check the film for homosexual propaganda and calling for its forthcoming release to be cancelled.
Wishing “to not make a big deal of it,” Bill Condon asked, “Why is it a big deal?”
Why is it a big deal? It’s a big deal because gay narratives need to be featured in mainstream entertainment. It’s a shame Condon is retreating on his words to possibly appease the other side that is threatening to not show the film due to their homophobic views. It says a lot about the integrity of the filmmaker to be so easily swayed. He obviously does not understand the importance of LGBT inclusion in all forms of mainstream media.
It is a big deal.
Condon isn’t the only speaking out about this. Josh Gad who plays LeFou in the film did as well. Gad made it clear to USA Today that “there was nothing in the script that said ‘LeFou is gay.’”
We still will see the film when it comes out March 17 to see what all the fuss is about. Regardless of what Condon and Gad are saying, we know in our heart of hearts LeFou is a big, flaming mo. And there ain’t no shame in that.