If you have a problem with LGBTQ characters in movies, Ewan McGregor has some words for you.
Mocking the controversy, McGregor, who plays Lumiere in the film, said: “There's a lot of gay sex in this cartoon — and if you live anywhere near Alabama, you should not go and see this film. What would Jesus think?”
He then added, “[LeFou’s] a gay character! It's 2017, for fuck's sake!”
Ever since director Bill Condon revealed that they changed LeFou’s sexuality and included an “exclusively gay moment” in the live-action remake, the film has received a ton of criticism. Many argued that homosexuality shouldn’t be taught to children and Christian evangelist Franklin Graham even condemned Disney for “trying to push the LGBT agenda.”
On top of that, an Alabama theatre announced that it will not screen the film, which is what McGregor is referring to in his sarcastic comment.
The inclusion of a gay character in “Beauty and the Beast” has also sparked controversy outside the U.S. Malaysia, for instance, recently announced that it has indefinitely postponed screening the film even after the “gay moment” was edited out. And Russia, who previously debated whether or not to ban the film, has decided to give the movie a 16+ rating to prevent children from seeing it.
In response, many of the film’s stars, including McGregor, have spoken out in support of the film’s decision to include an LGBTQ character.
“I think it’s incredibly subtle, to be perfectly honest,” Emma Watson, who plays Belle, told EW of LeFou’s homosexuality. “I don’t want people going into this movie thinking that there’s like a huge narrative there. There really isn’t. It’s kind of a play on having the audience go, ‘Is it, or is it not?’ I think it’s fun. I love the ambiguity there.”
At the film’s world premiere earlier this month, Josh Gad, who plays LeFou, revealed that “there was nothing in the script that said ‘LeFou is gay.’”
“What was most important to me was taking a character that is wonderful and so iconic, but is defined by cartoon conceits in the [original] movie... and expanding on that, giving him dimension, making him human,” Gad said.
Last week, Condon also gave the last word on the matter. Standing by his decision during a press conference in Beverly Hills, California, he said: “In a very Disney way, we are including everybody. I think this is for everybody, and on the screen we’ll see everybody. And that was important to me.”
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