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“Beauty and the Beast” and its surrounding Controversies

3 years ago

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” has hit the theaters for everyone to enjoy, at least in most countries. As hyped as it is, some individuals are just not as excited due to issues regarding one of its characters, who is stated as the company’s first ‘exclusively-gay character’. Moreover, there will be an ‘exclusively-gay moment’ in the film, and the decision to include this scene has prompted various nations to face a dilemma regarding the film to present itself in its complete originality. So, what happened?

LeFou, Gaston’s sidekick in the movie, is a character uncertain of his sexuality as stated by the film’s director, Bill Condon. Nevertheless, it is worth to be noted that LeFou is not the movie’s primary antagonist, and he is a minor character, so there wouldn’t be any dominant scenes of him emphasizing his sexuality. For further clarification, Emma Watson, in her interview with Entertainment Weekly, stated that Josh’s (as LeFou) performance regarding the hinted sexuality is very subtle, and there aren’t any explicit statements regarding his being gay.

Figure 2. LeFou (left) as Gaston’s (right) sidekick.

Nevertheless, a number of countries have taken the step against this showing of subtlety; a movie theater in Alabama has refused to show “Beauty and the Beast” due to the revelation, Russia had considered banning the movie since it does not support homosexuality, as subtle as it is, but decided to impose a rating on the film instead, restricting anyone aged below 16 to watch it. The most recently talked about country, however, is Malaysia. The country’s chairman of the censorship board, Abdul Halim, said that the film has been approved of being shown in the theaters with a minor cut to its supposedly gay moments. Disney refuses to not include the movie in its entirety, and has postponed the showing until March 30 depending on the response of the board.

Director Bill Condon stated his exhaustion in listening to the controversies generated by the inclusion of the character’s thoughts, saying that “it has been overblown”. He added that when people have seen the movie, they will know what it is all about. Condon also mentioned the diversities portrayed in the movie, such as interracial relationships, but sadly, the gay-controversies which was supposed to be a “teeny thing” is made to be too big of a problem.

Every nation has its own stance regarding the sexuality, even though the United States openly acknowledged and legalized the romantic relationships among men. Countries with strict religious beliefs are unlikely to green-lit the movie without any censorships (if they allow the film to air at all), but when a minor scene from a movie hinders millions of viewers from enjoying it, especially when there are no harms being done, it might be going too far. What is your take on this? share it with us!


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