Here's The Problem With 'Beauty And The Beast' Having A Gay Character
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Here's The Problem With 'Beauty And The Beast' Having A Gay Character

Out of all the roles, they choose "the fool" to be the sole gay character?

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Here's The Problem With 'Beauty And The Beast' Having A Gay Character
Entertainment Weekly

The remake of Disney's Beauty and the Beast is one of the most anticipated new movies of 2017. Starring Hermione Granger Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast, the remake promises to stay true to the original, while also having a few unique differences. One of these changes is the introduction of a gay character.

Now, LGBTQ+ characters do seem to be getting a bit more representation in media these days. However, homophobia and ignorance are still rampant, so the LGBTQ+ community needs as much (positive) representation as possible to help combat this. So when activists learned there was going to be a gay character in the remake of Disney's beloved musical, they rejoiced.

And then they found out who the character is.

The gay character will be LeFou ("The Fool"), played by Josh Gad. Bill Condon, the movie's director, has stated that LeFou's reconciliation with his sexuality is a way of increasing LGBTQ+ visibility on screen. It is also a tribute to Howard Ashman, the original movie's lyricist, who was gay and died from AIDS before the film was released. Bill Condon and Luke Evans (who portrays the villain Gaston) also happen to be gay.

Now, LGBTQ+ characters do need more representation. However, why on Earth is a villain- who's name literally translates to "the Madman"- the only gay character in the remake? In the original movie, Gaston was abusive towards his "friend" and henchman. Why then does LeFou fall in love with him? In the original Beauty and the Beast, he only had two roles: as comic relief and to make Gaston feel even more proud of himself. This is not positive representation.

Those excited about a gay character in the remake hoped he or she would be someone else. Lumière (voiced by Ewan McGregor) and Cogsworth (voiced by Sir Ian McKellen, who is also gay in real life) were fan favorites for the role as the gay character (or characters). In the original, they acted like a stereotypical married couple, and are expected to act the same in the remake. To many fans like myself, it would be ideal for the two to be in a relationship. While they also serve as comic relief in the original Beauty and the Beast, they are major characters and heroes; compared to LeFou, they are portrayed in a better light.

While I am happy there is a gay character in the new Beauty and the Beast, I am upset that it is a villain, who is also the main comic relief of the movie. The movie's writers and producers had good intention, but ultimately it helps shed a negative light on LGBTQ+ characters. While I shouldn't judge a book by its cover (and I do plan on seeing the movie), I am disappointed and can only hope that this somehow works out well. LGBTQ+ characters need to be portrayed in more positive ways, and making them villains and comic reliefs do not help.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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