Hello interweb, Nate here! So this is somewhat old news at this point so I apologize for the lateness but I was debating over this post in the first place. I talk about it more at the end of this article so if you want to hear more about the potentially new direction this blog is going to be taking, please go below for yourself. In the meantime, apparently, Disney has it’s first openly gay character!
So as you’ve probably known for a while now, the classic Disney animated movie Beauty and the Beast is receiving a live-action adaptation starring Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast, and Luke Evans as Gaston! As exciting as this is on its own, Gaston’s sidekick, LeFou, is being played by Josh Gad and is being reinterpreted as a gay character who holds deep feelings for Gaston. In the animated movie, LeFou is meant to play the role as Gaston’s inept sidekick who sees Gaston as his idol and even sings a song all about praising him as the greatest person he ever met. The movie, on the other hands, takes this character’s idolization of Gaston and decides to reinterpret his feelings from that of admiration to that of a crush. As director Bill Condon states:
“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 realizing that he has these feelings.
…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. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”
Now fans are quite split on this reinterpretation of a classic (I hesitate to call him “beloved”) Disney character. Now of course, some people are quite upset about this since a lot of people believe that gay characters are “inappropriate” for a kids movie. In fact, a drive-in theater actually banned the viewing of this movie because he doesn’t think that God would approve of it (source). Ah yes, nothing shows Christian love like the banning of a movie with a gay character in it! The bestiality was fine, homosexuality on the other hand…eh, not quite Christian-friendly. Anyways that’s neither here nor there. The film will receive a hit at the box office because of this decision, no doubt about it, but I do find it dumb whenever someone brings up that children shouldn’t be watching movies with gay characters in it since gay kids do exist. That, and gay characters in movies won’t make your kids gay! Afterall, the vast majority of fictional characters are straight and that never converted the gay kids who grew up watching them!
Now you might expect me to be excited over this since that seems to be my trend on this blog to either really hate or really love a reimagined gay character. However, me personally I’m really not in the camp of people who absolutely love this decision because “Yay! More gay people!”. I don’t hate it, I just don’t love it. I guess what I’m trying to say is I don’t really care! LeFou never stood out to me as a character with a major fanbase and he’s such a side character that honestly the only reason this is getting so much attention is because views on gay people these days make such minor things a big deal when it really isn’t. Quite recently an article showed up on my Facebook feed about how the Disney cartoon Star Vs The Forces of Evil featured a gay kiss and when I read the article it turned out to be background characters (source). Like seriously? We’re getting all worked up because two guys in the background of a show kissed?
Really, I don’t see it as that much of a stretch to reinterpret LeFou’s admiration for Gaston as a crush and that’s just how I see it. It’s not like LeFou’s sexuality was explored in the animated film and he never had any complex relationships before (as far as I know of course), if they decided to make Gaston gay that would be a whole nother story and maybe it would lead to more discussion! Now I have not seen the film yet so I’m not sure what they mean by an “exclusively gay moment”. My guess is maybe he comes out to Gaston with these feelings? Which, considering the time period and how macho Gaston is, Gaston will probably react very negatively towards this? I don’t really know, this is just speculation on my part. It could also be where a character like Belle asks LeFou why he hangs around Gaston so much and then he tells them that he’s in love or something? I am interested to see how this “gay moment” plays out but that’s pretty much it.
Now if this does make me curious about anything it’s how Disney plans to go from here. This will be Disney’s first openly gay character so if Beauty and the Beast still does well (which I assume it will), what else does Disney plan to do? Maybe Elsa will come out as gay in Frozen 2? Or just an openly gay princess (or prince) in general! Maybe we can finally get a Young Avengers movie or at least an openly gay superhero in the MCU?
New Direction for this Blog
So I have been writing about superheroes since April 2014 and I’m kind of burnt out of it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a huge fan of Marvel and DC and I love reading their comics and watching their movies, but there have been things like this that I’ve wanted to talk about for a while that I really couldn’t since this blog is restricted to superheroes. I have cheated here and there with Steven Universe, but I’d like to expand a little to cover more things. So I’m thinking of just turning this into a “geek” blog? That way I can still review and talk about comics (because I’m not giving that up), but I could also discuss other things! Maybe I can review and discuss other movies outside the superhero genre? Maybe I can discuss cartoons and TV shows that don’t fit within the confines of “superheroes”? I’ve been wanting to talk about shows like Rick and Morty and Gravity Falls but I really wouldn’t since that’s not the purpose of this blog. So I’m wondering how you guys feel? If I expand beyond superheroes would you guys still enjoy any future content? Or since I’ve already developed an audience for Marvel and DC I should just stick to those? Let me know! And comment if you have any ideas yourself!