‘Beauty and the Beast’ creates controversy

Lauri Hoedl, Opinion Editor

Does Disney’s revived live action “Beauty and the Beast” deserve the controversy it has sparked for their first openly gay character, LeFou? The short answer is no.

No matter the viewers’ opinion on the fact that there is a gay character in the film, LeFou’s expression of his sexuality is only through small moments throughout the movie.

Because Lefou’s sexuality is a side item, rather than a main idea, it is said that the scenes with his sexuality is visual will most likely go over the heads of many viewers.

Bill Condon, director, said in an interview with Vanity Fair, “LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston, and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” and that he is confused throughout the movie about who he is and what he wants.

Though some people tried boycotting the movie because of the gay character, it did not work as planned, considering their box office, as of April 2, passed $876 million.

The main scene that has caused controversy was at the end of the movie when LeFou is briefly portrayed dancing happily with another man, but this clip could be missed in the blink of an eye.

How much of a progressive step is this for Disney?

This question is more difficult to answer.

LeFou is not thought to be Disney’s actual first gay character. Disney has received many previous complaints for making or implying that many of their villains are queer, yet never doing the same for their princesses, princes or heroic characters.

Though LeFou is not portrayed as a villain in the remake of “Beauty and the Beast,” as he is in the original, he is not quite the character many fans are hoping for.

Disney has taken a positive step by creating an openly gay character, but is also being questioned on if “Beauty and the Beast” romanticizes Stockholm Syndrome.

Another concern is whether or not the reaction to the story would be the same if it concerned a young man who fell in love with a beast-like woman instead of a young woman falling for a beast-like man.

Though “Beauty and the Beast” has its flaws, is a classic movie that is praised for portraying an intelligent, strong-willed girl who cares more about her books than looks. Belle is a positive role model, becasuse she does not fall for Gaston just becasue he is handsome.

Yes, creating an openly gay character is a step in the right direction, hopefully resulting in more, positively displayed queer characters, with bigger roles; however, no, it is not worthy of the boycotts and controversy it’s received because of how little LeFou’s sexuality is expressed.