In what Britain’s Attitude magazine touted as a history-making moment for Disney, the character of LeFou (Josh Gad) is apparently shown to be questioning his feelings for the film’s dashing villain, Gaston (Luke Evans). Though it’s been two weeks since director Bill Condon’s Attitude interview, LeFou’s subplot has become a major talking point, with a conservative-owned business, an evangelical pastor, a concerned parent and Russian lawmakers all condemning “Beauty and the Beast,” sight unseen.
Now, an established anti-LGBTQ group is asking parents to speak out against Disney by supporting a “godly” animated movie instead of taking their children to see “Beauty and the Beast.” The American Family Association (AFA), which the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated as a hate group, has launched an online fundraiser for the production of “The Pilgrim’s Progress.” (You can view snippets of the film, which is said to be aiming for a 2018 release, in the video above.)
“Parents should be warned that Disney has given the green light to a strong LGBTQ agenda in a movie that targets the 5- to 11-year-old demographic market,” AFA officials wrote on the “PIlgrim’s Progress” fundraising page.
The fundraiser offers few details about “The Pilgrim’s Progress” other than calling it “one of the most impactful stories ever written.” It seems likely to be an adaptation of the 1678 Christian allegory of the same name, written by John Bunyan, who was repeatedly jailed for preaching without a license.
“If parents don’t push back today and take a strong stand,” AFA officials wrote, “Disney will continue to allow more children’s movies to push the homosexual agenda.”
Still, from the sounds of it, the brouhaha over LeFou’s sexuality is much ado about... well, not a whole heck of a lot. Gad and Emma Watson (Belle) have made efforts to downplay the controversy, as has composer Alan Menken, who co-wrote the film’s music. But the most memorable response came from Ewan McGregor (Lumière), who simply noted, “It’s 2017, for f*ck’s sake.”
Keep up with the latest LGBTQ news with the Queer Voices newsletter.