The Russian Culture Ministry announced Tuesday that children in Russia are banned from watching Beauty and the Beast because the new Disney princess film includes a gay character.
But the gay character, in fact, might not be gay at all. According to the AP, The Beauty and the Beast director recently suggested that describing LeFou as Disney’s first gay character went too far.
“I keep saying it’s more like the first gay moment,” he said. “Because I think it’s a very fluid character.” He added: “You can’t help but wonder in his adoration of Gaston … (is there) something more going on?”
The scene in question is nothing special. It appears to involve a brief moment when the character LefFou fawns over Gaston at the end of the film.
Gaston is the beefy hunky character inspired by gay writer Howard Ashman’s preference for ‘trade’ – a slang term for masculine and straight-identifying men who engage in a bit of man-on-man action on the down-low. When the 1991 classic was released, Ashman based Gaston on his ideal guy.
And LeFou, the supposedly gay character, is Gaston’s manservant.
LeFou sings: “For there’s no man in town half as manly / Perfect, a pure paragon.”
Check out the scene below:
While a gay character would be nice to see, the director has only described the scene as a “gay moment” and has watered down statements about LeFou’s sexuality. Only describing LeFou as “confused” and “fluid”. Perhaps the director is trying to do away with labels and normalize scenes between men who admire each other but this smells like a publicity stunt if you ask me.
Meanwhile, the Russians are falling over themselves to make sure only grown men go see princess movies. I hope the movie is as good as all this drama.