Chris here. Anticipation for Bill Condon's live action Beauty and the Beast remake 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 Beast opens in two weeks! What are your thoughts on the potential of this "exclusively gay moment"?