Alabama Drive-in Theater Won’t Show Beauty And The Beast Due to Gay Character
March 15, 2017
“Beauty and the Beast” is making history with its character LeFou (played by Josh Gad), but not everybody is ready to embrace the LGBTQ inclusivity.
When Beauty and the Beast director Bill Condon confirmed Josh Gad’s LeFou as Disney’s first openly gay character, some sort of backlash was inevitable. While same-sex marriage has been legal in all states since the United States Supreme Court’s landmark Obergefell v. Hodges decision in 2015, our own very own Vice President has a long record of opposition to gay rights and many pockets of the country share his beliefs.
Case in point: on Thursday night, the Henagar Drive-In Theatre in northeast Alabama announced via its currently inaccessible Facebook page that it would not be showing the film because it features a gay character.
“When companies continually force their views on us, we need to take a stand,” the theater in rural Henagar, Ala., a town of less than 2,500 in the northeastern corner of the state, wrote in a Facebook post announcing its decision, specifically citing LeFou’s sexual orientation.
“We are first and foremost Christians,” the Facebook post continued. “We will not compromise on what the Bible teaches. We will continue to show family-oriented films so you can feel free to come watch wholesome movies without worrying about sex, nudity, homosexuality and foul language.”
According to the Facebook post, the theater transferred ownership in December, and some films were scheduled by the previous owner. The Henagar Drive-In Facebook page was flooded with more than 1,300 comments on Friday. Many supported its ban. The majority of commenters, however, condemned the theater for homophobia and hypocrisy.
The decision comes after the announcement this week from the film’s director, Bill Condon, promising what he calls an “exclusively gay moment.” The character in question: Gaston’s best friend, LeFou, played by Josh Gad.
“There is a moment in the film that is pretty subtle, that’s pretty wonderful, and I’m excited for people to see it and experience it for themselves,” Gad said.
“It’s never ever written in the script. As it was, director Bill Condon said it was never his intention for this character specifically to be gay,” “Entertainment Tonight” senior news editor Jennifer Peros said. “It’s just the way Josh had performed it and the way that he was acting in one scene that’s getting a lot of people to speculate: Do we have our first gay character in a Disney film?”
The Disney film had its world premiere in Los Angeles earlier this week and will be released March 17.