For the first time ever, Disney will feature a gay character in a movie.
In an interview with Attitude magazine, “Beauty and the Beast” director Bill Condon revealed that he changed the sexuality of one of the film’s main characters for the live-action remake.
“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston. He’s confused about what he wants,” Condon said in the magazine’s April issue. “It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings. And Josh [Gad, who plays LeFou] makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that’s what has its pay-off at the end, which I don’t want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”
This change makes perfect sense. LeFou’s love and admiration for Gaston has always been evident in the animated film, so changing his sexuality – or simply revealing his true sexuality outright – is a natural change for the remake.
On Monday, Disney released a short clip of LeFou singing “Gaston” in the upcoming film showing the character’s love for the villain.
The news that Disney will feature its first gay character in a movie comes just days after the studio quietly aired its first same-sex kiss onscreen.
In an episode of Disney XD’s “Star vs. The Forces of Evil,” the animated show featured a montage of couples kissing at a concert, two of which were same-sex.
This kind of representation is so important because it normalizes LGBTQ relationships and many applauded Disney for being so subtly inclusive.
Disney is certainly taking steps in the right direction. Besides featuring a gay character in the live-action “Beauty and the Beast,” the remake will also feature a feminist twist by making Belle the inventor, instead of her father.
“I was like, ‘Well, there was never very much information or detail at the beginning of the story as to why Belle didn’t fit in, other than she liked books. Also what is she doing with her time?’” Emma Watson, who plays Belle in the film, said to EW in November.
“So, we created a backstory for her, which was that she had invented a kind of washing machine, so that, instead of doing laundry, she could sit and use that time to read instead.”
“Beauty and the Beast” is shaping up to be one empowering and inclusive movie. Bravo, Disney!