Theater Cancels Beauty And The Beast Because Of Openly Gay Character

by Valerie Williams
Originally Published: 
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The owners refuse to show the film due to their religious beliefs

The director of Disney’s live-action version of Beauty and the Beast recently confirmed that the film features a gay character, which was celebrated by many as a sign that the entertainment giant was becoming more inclusive. However, not everyone was thrilled, as one movie theater announced they won’t be showing the film due to the inclusion of a gay character not meshing with their Christian beliefs.

Gaston’s sidekick LeFou, played by Josh Gad, shares a dance with another man at the end of the film and flirts with Gaston several times. Director Bill Condon tells Attitude magazine, “He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings. And Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that’s what has its payoff at the end, which I don’t want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”

Henagar Drive-In theater in Henagar, Alabama announced in a Facebook post from their now-deleted page that they wouldn’t be showing Beauty and the Beast on religious grounds because of LeFou’s sexuality. Their message read, “When companies continually force their views on us we need to take a stand. If we can not take our 11-year-old granddaughter 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.”

The theater owners acknowledge that some may be displeased by their openly homophobic move. “I know there will be some that do not agree with this decision. That’s fine. We are first and foremost Christians. We will not compromise on what the Bible teaches. We will continue to show family oriented films so you can feel free to come watch wholesome movies without worrying about sex, nudity, homosexuality and foul language.”

Their ridiculous belief is that homosexuality is somehow amoral and akin to letting kids be exposed to sex, foul language or nudity. Do they make their grandkids wear horse blinders out in public in case a gay couple is openly affection in front of them? Do they shout down two women in the street sharing a kiss because it’s corrupting the children? We’re confused as to exactly how this works, because whether you agree with homosexuality or not, it is something children could be easily “exposed” to out in the world.

Someone please debrief me on a single instance where shielding kids from this kind of truth was helpful in the long run. I’ll wait.

Aside from the troubling notion that seeing two men dancing together will somehow scar a child or give them”ideas,” there’s the fact that this is what put them over the edge. Not a teenage girl falling in “love” with an animal who holds her against her will. Not both Gaston and the beast imprisoning Belle’s sick and frail father. Not Gaston trying to force Belle to marry him. It was the depiction of two men dancing together in a consensual situation that they found objectionable and not worthy of Jesus.

Sure. Seems totally reasonable.

Sadly, it’s not just these theater owners voicing their displeasure with the film. A petition originating from Life Petitions calls on its followers to tell Disney they’re promoting a “harmful sexual political agenda” and to boycott both the film and other Disney movies and products. Disturbingly, it’s closing in on 80,000 signatures.

Shame on those hateful enough to sign this petition and condemn Disney for showing millions of people a scene that, frankly, shouldn’t be that big of a deal in 2017. Seeing this theater refusing to show the film only makes me want to buy 20 tickets instead of the four I was planning on purchasing to see it with my family. Disney is long overdue in helping to normalize gay characters, and those supporting their efforts are on the right side of history.

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