Beauty and the Beasts’ gay character has caused an Alabama theater to cancel showings of the film. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast 2017 debuts on March 17, but it won’t be shown at Henagar Drive-In Theatre. It had been widely reported that the first Disney gay character would be showcased in the film, with this particular theater creating some backlash based primarily on media reports. The decision to boycott the film has already created a lot of discussion on social media.
The Henagar Drive-In took to its Facebook page to let potential customers know that they were taking a religious stance by refusing to show the latest Disney live-action film. This was despite previous advertisements from management stating that the movie would be premiering at the theater. That statement is revealed below.
“It is with great sorrow that I have to tell our customers that we will not be showing Beauty and the Beast at the Henagar Drive-In when it comes out. When companies continually force their views on us we need to take a stand. We all make choices and I am making mine. For those that do not know Beauty and the Beast is “premiering” their first homosexual character.”
It was presumably one of the owners that made this post, but they have not attached a name to the statements. An attempt has been made to contact the owner, but no response has been given yet. That attempt also includes a question of whether the owners have seen the Beauty and the Beast gay character yet, or if they were just going from media reports.
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) January 31, 2017
What follows is more of the post that was placed on Facebook, including what seems to be a new policy for the Henagar Drive-In when it comes to all future films that will air at the theater. It’s a departure from films that have been shown there in the past, including movies like Passengers that the current Facebook page still advertises.
“If I can’t sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me then we have no business showing it. I know there will be some that do not agree with this decision. That’s fine. We are first and foremost Christians. 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. Thank you for your support!”
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Beauty and the Beast director Bill Condon Condon revealed that Josh Gad’s LeFou is actually gay and that makes him the first openly gay character in a Disney film. Condon alluded to a moment that will take place near the end of the film that will serve as a first “exclusively gay moment” from a Disney film. This has led to a lot of conversation taking place on social media, with many movie fans saying the character of LeFou is the same as he was in the animated version of the film.
Gad is now best known for his role as Olaf the Snowman in Frozen but has also found a lot of success on Broadway with the play The Book of Mormon. Gad’s acting credits also include being the main voice in A Dog’s Purpose, as the voice of Chuck in The Angry Birds Movie, and as Bearclaw on the TV series New Girl. He also starred as Doug Harris in the comedy The Wedding Ringer from 2015. His role as LeFou and the first official Disney gay character may soon surpass what he has done in the past.
The Beauty and the Beast 2017 cast also includes actors Luke Evans, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Dan Stevens, Emma Watson, Audra McDonald, director Bill Condon, and composer Alan Menken. Mr. Menken was a primary composer for the animated version of the film as well, returning to reimagine some songs that have become Disney classics over the years.
The decision by the Henagar Drive-In Theatre to boycott Beauty and the Beast 2017 has not gone over very well for them. While some supporters have taken to their social media accounts to support the new policies at the theater, hundreds of additional comments have condemned the actions. At last count, the theater had received 400 new one-star ratings for this decision.
The first official Disney gay character will take to movie screens on March 17, with Josh Gad breaking new ground in cinema. The live-action film has a lot to live up to as the animated version of the film received not only a lot of critical acclaim but also several Oscar nominations. There is also a lot of pressure on the 2017 Beauty and the Beast box office as the production of future live-action Disney films may rely on the theatrical success of this one.
[Featured Image by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney]