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« On this day: Carmen,Moonlighting,and the Star Spangled Banner| Main| Review: "Table 19"»
Friday
Mar 03 2017

"Beauty"and the Gay Sidekick

Chrishere.Anticipation for Bill Condon's live actionBeauty and the Beastremake is up and down around these parts,and those feeling may have gotten a little more complicated.Speaking to Attitude magazine,Condon states that the film will feature Disney's first "exclusively gay moment"and for none other than...sidekick LeFou?

Aside from the suggestion that Condon has apparently forgotten about Disney's gayest hour,"Poor Unfortunate Souls",this bit of gay news is somewhat troubling.LaFou,played here by Josh Gad,is Gaston's dimwitted and devoted bufoon of a sidekick - and Condon elaborates that there may be feelings beyond comradeship:

LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston...He's confused about what he wants.It's somebody who's just realising that he has these feelings.And Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it.And that's what has its payoff at the end,which I don't want to give away.

This all sounds like a cousin to the kind of gay revisionism we've seen with the likes Dumbledore and Luke Skywalker,but more like being told in advance of queerness that remains subtextual.If Disney wants to applaud itself for depicting queer attraction,LeFou is an innocuous and fairly uninvolved character to the narrative to really represent that impact.If they want to make a push for representation,wouldn't it be more meaningful or worthy of this self-congratulation if that affection was also reciprocated?I mean,Lumiere and Cogsworth are right there!

Beauty and the Beastopens in two weeks!What are your thoughts on the potential of this "exclusively gay moment"?

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Reader Comments (18)

Why can't we get good things?For instance,a Tucci frontal.

March 3,2017 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

My guess is that the "payoff"involves either Cogsworth of Lumiere with LaFou.Like a post-magical transformation everyone grabs their person to kiss and LaFou and Cogsworth (or Lumiere) find each other to smooch.Edge to Cogsworth because Ewan and Gugu are a fictional pair,right?

March 3,2017 | Unregistered Commentercatbaskets

Yes,in the cartoon Lumiere and Plumette were a couple.

March 3,2017 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

There is no gay revisionism with Luke Skywalker.

March 3,2017 | Unregistered CommenterArlo

"a moment"

wake me up when disney can spare a whole minute

March 3,2017 | Unregistered Commenterpar

Is there need to have overt gay content in a Disney production?Art intended for a family audience for a huge corporation like Disney doesn't need to earn cool points for pandering to a demographic that is not associated with family values but adult individuality and choice.

March 3,2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

THAT's what I was going to ask.What gay revisionismo with Luke Skywalker?

March 3,2017 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

I didn't realise that "Poor Unfortunate Souls"was gay.Ursula was fabolous and should be the goal of drag queens everywhere but super gay,I didn't gather.

March 3,2017 | Unregistered CommenterMorgan.

Ursula is modeled after Divine who was originally intended to voice the character prior to his death.

March 3,2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

"LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston"

That pretty much sums up my entire high school life.

@3rtful - it's 2017.Gay couples have kids that they see movies with,kids who are gay (even if they don't know it yet) see movies.If people are cool with gay people,there should be nothing wrong with seeing a gay character in a family film.

March 3,2017 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

I watched Beauty and the Beast when I was 6 or so.I couldn't quite grasp the concept of what being gay is about yet.But I remembered clearly thinking something was up with Lumiere.It was actually the first time I thought hey,this guy might not be into women (even though they showed that he was).It was kind of an introduction for me.

March 3,2017 | Unregistered CommenterJija

I used to be so excited about any hint of queerness in any mainstream movie.It used to feel like a little wink,an acknowledgement.But nowadays it's insulting.To treat moments like this like they are some sort of gift or a major evolution is an insult to all queer and straight people.

Parents should not feel like they're struggling to explain sexuality to their children.If they do then that's on them not on us.They don't struggle to explain the four seasons,do they?So I just don't get it anymore.
The unthinkable for intelligent open-minded people has happened last year and continues to happen and those who inflict it on us have no concerns over shocking us.So why should we care about their sensibilities.Call me when Disney builds a movie around a gay Disney prince.Otherwise,thanks but no thanks.

March 3,2017 | Unregistered CommenterTony T

Tony T -- same.

and what does "exclusively"mean in this context anyway?so annoying.

March 3,2017 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Add to this awkwardness the fact that Luke Evans (Gaston) is a gay man--who used to be out but went back in the closet when he found success.o.O

March 3,2017 | Unregistered CommenterBD

LeFou is a buffoon,so it's a shame that he has to be the Disney live-action universe's first gay character.That's not to say gay characters can't be buffoons,but when LGBT characters are rare to non-existent one wishes Disney could have done better than a comic imbecile and sycophantic stooge to the villain.

March 3,2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarco

Yeah they should've just made the clock and candlestick gay.Revising the joke sidekick of the villain to add a lovelorn pining element isn't really greeeaaaaat representation all by itself,certainly not a gift.

And am I misreading it or is the gay stuff with Luke Skywalker just fans digging up subtext and Hamill being like "hell yeah interpret him however you want if that really resonates with you"because the actor endorsing queer readings of his character seems a lot better than whatever this is,or Rowling telling us about Dumbledore after he and the series were good and finished.

March 3,2017 | Unregistered CommenterNick T

I don't know why they needed to announce it.If you're gonna do something,just do it.

It would've been much funnier to see that movie theatre that banned the movie over the gay "content"to realize a week or two after they've already been showing it.

March 3,2017 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

2017 and *this* is what we call progress?This isn't an 'exclusive gay moment' this is a straight producer's idea of targeting a demographic,one in which they couldn't possibly represent or empathize with if they tried to,which is weird considering Condon is openly gay himself.Surely this isn't what he wanted when creating a gay character?I doubt he had much say in this tbh Also @Tony T,co-sign all of that.It' a very lonely reality for gay children when they want to see themselves represented with the same nonchalance and unnecessary romantic plots that their straight counter-parts always get,without fail.People are stupid enough to propose homosexual visibility as 'corrupting' or 'turning' their children gay.Hmm,that's right,not as if Disney has ever forced a straight romance on our screens from film to film.

March 4,2017 | Unregistered CommenterAmandaBuffamonteezi

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