The Beauty and the Beast Agenda

Rebekah Hawkins, Associate Editor

It seems there’s always something to boycott these days. It’s a Starbucks or a home improvement store or a Target or even a movie.  Over and over again.

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past week or so, the director of the new live action Beauty and the Beast movie, Bill Condon, stated in an interview that Gaston’s sidekick LeFou is Disney’s first openly gay character to grace their screens. He said of LeFou, “LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another wants to kiss Gaston. He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings.”

So really LeFou is figuring out who he is. Which I think everyone can relate to, whether you’re gay or not gay or somewhere in between. Everyone wants to figure who they are and what they want, and that really seems to be the underlying point of the LeFou character. Of course the director also said that LeFou had an “exclusively gay” moment in the movie, and that is what has some people angry.

People are boycotting the movie for pushing a so-called agenda. A movie theater in our own state has decided that they will not show it because it is not something that they agree with. People are saying that Disney is compromising family values and indoctrinating innocent children. Don’t get me wrong they all have a right to say these things and boycott the film, but Disney has the same rights to introduce a gay character if they want.

Let’s discuss the “exclusively gay” moment that the director talked about a little more to see if it’s really worth getting upset about shall we? I haven’t seen the movie, because it isn’t released to the public until March 17, but the critics have seen it. According to writer Jackson McHenry, the gay moment takes until the very end to arrive after some subtle hinting early in the movie and ultimately concludes with a background scene in which LeFou is shown dancing with a man. McHenry says, “It’s certainly a moment, because it lasts for two seconds at the most. It’s gay, in the sense that two male characters are doing something that expresses affection, though it feels so platonic they might as well be shaking hands.”

So that’s it. That’s what people are mad about. A two-second dance in the background. It’s not a kiss, or even a hug. It’s a dance barely visible and definitely not something that kids are going to notice.  I understand why people are upset and I can sympathize, but come on, is a two-second dance really worth it? I guess to some people it is, but I think, for two seconds, I’ll risk the indoctrination.

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