"Beauty and the Beast" will feature a gay character in the first-ever, obvious such distinction in a film for Disney. Director Bill Condon calls it a small, but significant subplot in the live-action fairy tale movie.
Josh Gad plays the character LeFou, who is the sidekick of the film's main antagonist Gaston, played by Luke Evans. Condon told Attitude magazine that the LeFou subplot centers around his feelings concerning Gaston.
"LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston," Condon told Attitude. "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."
The clip of the LeFou and Gaston characters together was released by Disney on Monday and has been viewed more than 852,000 times on YouTube.
"It may have been a long time coming but this is a watershed moment for Disney," said Attitude editor-in-chief Matt Cain. "By representing same-sex attraction in this short but explicitly gay scene, the studio is sending out a message that this is normal and natural – and this is a message that will be heard in every country of the world, even countries where it's still socially unacceptable or even illegal to be gay."
"It's only a first step towards creating a cinematic world that reflects the one in which many of us are now proud to live. But it's a step in the right direction and I applaud Disney for being brave enough to make it – and in doing so hopefully helping to change attitudes and bring about real social progress."
The "Beauty and the Beast" news comes of the heels of "Moonlight," a movie about a black youth becoming aware of his own same-sex feeling while living in Miami, won best picture at the Academy Awards on Sunday, noted The Daily Beast.
Comments about LeFou on social media have been mixed.
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