For the first time in Disney movie history, the highly-anticipated “Beauty and the Beast” will include an openly gay character.
Actor Josh Gad, who voiced the lovable snowman Olaf in Disney’s “Frozen,” plays LeFou.
LeFou is bullied by his friend Gaston, yet has a crush on the film’s pompous ladies’ man.
“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” 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,” Condon says.
Many are praising Disney for its LGBTQ inclusivity, hoping it paves the way for gay characters in other mega-movies, such as Star Wars or Marvel films, but some are threatening to boycott the movie giant.
Others are unhappy about the character the entertainment conglomerate chose to represent the gay community, whose name, LeFou, translates from French to “the crazy one.”
big ups 2 disney! first gay character is a mincing sycophant named, literally, "the fool." ground hitherto unbroken in literature & theatre. pic.twitter.com/6l8ne0OReV
— Ben Kling (@benkling) March 2, 2017
"I wish disney would make gastons horrible little hobbit slave from beauty and the beast woefully gay" said no young queer kids growing up
— DAD'S TIRED MEAT (@xfwipsx) March 1, 2017
The Daily Dot writer Gavia Baker-Whitelaw points out, “LeFou is a clownish figure. Gaston is a parody of heterosexual masculinity, and LeFou is his craven sidekick with an unrequited crush. His name roughly translates as “the fool” or “the madman,” and his role is to bolster Gaston’s confidence and help him take down the heroes. You can interpret this as a tragic story for LeFou, but it’s hardly a high point for positive LGBT representation in 2017: a dweeb who hopelessly pines after a muscular straight guy,” Baker-Whitelaw writes.
The live-action remake of the 1991 animated film hits theaters March 17th and also stars Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as The Beast.