Disney’s Beauty and the Beast was deemed a tool of the Homosexual Agenda©. Brooke Poston of Baton Rouge Louisiana authored a post to her blog titled: “Disney’s LGBT agenda forced me to cancel our Disney World Vacation – Boycott Disney.” Franklin Graham was livid. LifeSiteNews had a boycott Disney petition as did American Family Association. A drive-in theater in Alabama noisily proclaimed that it would not show the film. Mind you that all of this opprobrium for Disney occurred prior to the film’s release.
These folks didn’t have to see the film. The mere presence of a gay character was a problem. That blogger in Louisiana is simply an idiot. At the other end, AFA and Franklin Graham exploited the issue to claim that “innocent” children would be corrupted. Those are reliable bigots with their own cynical agenda including economic considerations. The notion that gay people pose a threat to children is a ubiquitous right wing motif. It is dishonest but it works to denigrate gay folks.
Martin Saunders did see the film, along with his nine-year-old daughter. Saunders is the co-CEO of Youthscape, a large Christian youth ministry in the UK and he wrote about the film for Christian Today. Here is the relevant portion (emphasis added):
The ‘gay’ plot line in question involves pantomime villain Gaston, a narcissistic swashbuckler who is as straight as his trusty sword, and his sidekick LeFou, a man who has clearly bought the hype around his heroic leader. LeFou is obviously in love with Gaston, but also knows for certain that his feelings will always be unrequited. We learn this in a couple of longing glances, and the occasional line with a gentle double meaning. That’s it. There’s no kiss; there’s no sense at all of a gay relationship. LeFou simply has homosexual feelings, because he’s a homosexual man.
I saw the film with my 9-year-old daughter. She’s very smart, and is also pretty good at picking up film subtext. From talking to her afterwards, it was clear that while she’d enjoyed the LeFou character, his sexuality hadn’t even registered with her. She appeared to have absolutely no idea that there was anything ‘different’ or ‘strange’ about LeFou – the whole thing had gone over her head. And of course it did, when everything else that was going on was far more interesting to her. Those who boycott Beauty and the Beast will miss out on a spectacular treat of a film.