I had the pleasure of hosting the premiere of Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast last night with our amazing listeners.
You may be thinking, WHY do I need to hear any more about this film if I’ve seen the animated version. Simple. Many parents have been struggling with the rumors of a gay scene or a gay character in the movie and have been ‘Boycotting Disney’ to shield their children and themselves from the LGBTQ community. Because let’s face it…we don’t have to like someone’s sexual orientation.
If you really want to throw a fit and say ‘Disney is ruining things and trying to fit in to make everyone happy by making a character gay’…let’s reach into the real reason why one character, LeFou in particular, appears to be gay.
It was a tribute. WHAT?! OMG! Yep… According to Vanity Fair, it was a tribute to gay lyricist Howard Ashman who was battling and losing his fight with AIDS while creating music for the original animated movie that we all loved so much. He passed away shortly before the film hit theaters.
Take the lyrics from ‘Kill The Beast’ for example – “We don’t like what we don’t understand / in fact it scares us / and this monster is mysterious at least / Bring your guns / bring your knives / save your children and your wives / we’ll save our village and our lives”. That’s exactly what the world was like when we heard about AIDS back then, and it was his way of expressing his struggle with the terrible disease to the world,as sort of a metaphor. It goes really well with what Beast in the movie is going through, because he was so different and had an internal battle with who he really was.
Ashman was also responsible for lyrics from The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and many other favorites. Actually, if you have ever watched the ending credits for the animated Beauty and the Beast…. this is what you’d see in the end.
“To our friend, Howard,
who gave a mermaid her voice,
and a beast his soul,
we will be forever grateful.”
So I’ll go ahead and take my Facebook post from this morning and tweak it a bit.
‘To everyone who is ‘Boycotting Disney’ because of the supposed gay scenes in Beauty and the Beast. Let me be the first to tell you, the movie is a bit different than the original, yes. HOWEVER, there was no difference in interactions with any of the characters, than there was in the original animated film. There are no explicit or intimate scenes you should be worried about, and Disney did an amazing job with the characters.
I HOPE this is the only spoiler for you and brings you some peace of mind. Your kids won’t notice a difference, YOU won’t notice a difference. And as someone who is always surrounded by 90% of my friends from the LGBT community, I WAS LOOKING FOR IT. It won’t ruin your childhood, or your kids. So what if a character is gay? It wasn’t showcased, just like it’s not in real life. People are who they are.
Go see the movie, you’re going to love the performances (Lefou’s was my favorite). You’ll laugh, sing and tear up. Our life would be so boring without these amazing, colorful souls that provide the entertainment you love. And remember…
“Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love, cannot be killed or swept aside” Lin-Manuel Miranda’