The new, live-action version of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast was much anticipated, then came news of a gay scene. Hyped as the first “exclusively gay moment” in a Disney film, the announcement that Beauty and the Beastwould include a gay scene prompted Christian (and other) leaders to call for a boycott of the film, parents to vow that their kids would never see it, and movie theaters (and even an entire country) banning the Emma Watson flick.
Beauty and the Beast hit theaters on March 17, with many fans (and new foes) waiting with bated breath to know just how gay the “exclusively gay moment” would be. By the film’s release date, it had been widely reported that whatever the gay scene consisted of, it would involve LaFou (played by Josh Gad) and his romantic infatuation with the misogynistic hunk, Gaston (Luke Evans).
Touted as as truly iconic moment in the LGBTQ movement (or an abomination, depending on who was asked), the Beauty and the Beastgay scene was something that nearly every ticket holder was waiting to see. And now that so many have, Refinery 29 is letting the world know whether or not the payoff lived up to the hype.
(Potential spoilers below.)
As the outlet reports, the new Beauty and the Beast was, as a whole, “really good.” Emma Watson as Belle is described as “incredibly clever.” Gaston as “perfectly obnoxious.” But what about that “exclusively gay moment?” The gay scene that resulted in Beauty and the Beast being pulled from Malaysian theaters? (As Fortune reports, Disney opted to completely pull the movie rather than allow the gay scene to be censored out.)
As Refinery 29 reports, the much-hyped gay scene wasn’t much to write home about. In fact according to the publication, moviegoers likely wouldn’t have even noticed the scene at all if Disney hadn’t made a huge production of announcing that it exists.
Throughout the movie, it’s a little bit apparent that LaFou might be hiding a wee bit of a crush on Gaston. A romantic crush or a bromantic man crush? It’s impossible to say, because it’s all alluded to and definitely doesn’t scream of blatant homosexuality. Undertones, but definitely not overtones, and certainly LaFou’s crush can’t count as the “exclusively gay moment” in Beauty and the Beast that has been so widely promoted and defended.
That moment, the gay scene Disney is so proud of, sneaks into the film near the end of Beauty and the Beast. You know, the very last ballroom scene, when the curse is broken, Belle and The Beast are both human and everyone is joyfully dancing?
During the final Beauty and the Beast ballroom scene, the exclusively gay moment finally happens. As all of the dancers are switching partners, LaFou ends up dancing with another guy. Briefly. Oh, and he’s smiling and apparently thrilled about it.
And that’s it.
Two guys take a brief turn around the Beauty and the Beast ballroom, and they’re having a good time while they do so. That’s the gay scene that inspired boycotts and hateful rhetoric.
According to Refinery 29, there’s nothing about the scene that comes off as off-putting, nor that doesn’t smoothly fit the movie’s story line. In fact, it’s described as “super normal.”
Despite the Disney hype, many moviegoers took to social media to make it clear that the Beauty and the Beast gay scene was definitely no big deal. While some church groups are still calling for boycotts, most fans who saw the movie thought the scene was tasteful and that it many may not even have noticed it if not for the hype leading up to the film’s release.
According to Disney, the much-touted Beauty and the Beast gay scene was historic, a first of its kind moment in any Disney movie. What’s more, it was added to the live-action version of the iconic 1991 animated movie to honor Howard Ashman. Ashman was a major contributor to the original Beauty and the Beast. He was also a gay man suffering from AIDS, and he passed away before the film he worked so hard on was released.
According to Disney, Ashman wrote the Beauty and the Beast theme song as, “a metaphor for his cursed life dealing with the disease as a gay man.”
While the Beauty and the Beast gay scene controversy is still ongoing, and will surely continue to plague the new movie, many are heralding the depiction of two men romantically interacting in Disney movie as “history being made.”
[Featured Image by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images]