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Beauty and the Beast--Oh, the Gay!

So the live-action version of Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST has a gay character in it, and the right wing is eating apeshit crackers over it.

I'm not happy, either.

Yes, the apeshit crackers crowd are freaked for all the wrong reasons.  One Million Moms--or, more rightly, One Dozen Moms--screeches that it's not appropriate for the CHIL-dren to see such things on screen.  A drive-in theater in Alabama made news because it's refusing to show the movie.  (So a couple dozen bubbas will have to drive one town over to see the movie in an actual theater instead of watching it in the middle of a hayfield.  Oh noes!  The movie is doomed!)  These people haven't complained about the hetero stuff, though--Belle kissing the Beast, Lumiere kissing the dust mop/maid, Gaston's attempts to basically rape Belle.  And wait--isn't Belle basically being forced to fall in love with an animal?  Good heavens!  But let two men hold hands, and these nutbags act like Disney has gone XXX rated.

What's truly stupid is that this isn't the real reason to be ticked.

The gay character in B&B is LeFou, Gaston's little sidekick villain.  Here he is from the original cartoon:





SPOILERS: According to the press releases and news stories, the live version of LeFou has a crush on Gaston and flirts with him once or twice in the movie, but it goes right over Gaston's head.  At the very end of the movie, we get a brief glimpse of LeFou dancing with another man at Belle and the Beast's ball.

That's it.  That's the whole thing.  Less than ten seconds of LGBT content.

The "yay!" people are praising it.  LeFou is Disney's first openly gay character.  (Other characters have been hinted at, but never confirmed.)  What a step forward!  How fantastic!

I give it a thumbs down.

LeFou is a bumbling, sycophantic idiot.  He's clumsy, stupid, easily cowed, and comes on the receiving end of a great deal of the cartoon violence in the movie.  Gaston punches, kicks, slaps, drops, and crushes LeFou, and he begs for more.  LeFou attempts to murder Lumiere during the seige of the Beast's castle.  He's an evil, brutish, buffoonish clown.  His name is French for "fool."

This is what Disney hands us and says, "Hey, LGBT people!  This is how we're going to represent you! Isn't this great?"

Fuck you, Disney.

On top of it, the movie only gives teensy flashes of the character being gay.  A subtle flirt.  A half-second, "blink and you miss it" dance.

Fuck you, Disney.

How about creating some characters of note?  Some good guys we can root for?  Someone who isn't stupid, foolish, idiotic, or clumsy?  A strong person?  A likeable person?  A person kids can look at and say, "I want to be like him"?  I mean, when kids play "Let's Pretend", no one wants to play LeFou.

After hundreds of years of being denigrated and portrayed as the villain, we need good guys.

I can see the reponses already: "LeFou is going to redeem himself.  If he's dancing at Belle and the Beast's ball, it must mean he's changed sides, and he gets a boyfriend in the end, so he's happy.  What's wrong with that?"  Sorry, no.  For hundreds of years, LGBT people have been the villains, the bad guys, the tragic ones.  We still haven't been the protagonists, the strong ones, the powerful ones in these movies.  Not once.  Disney is handing us a rotten little crumb instead of a full meal.

This is why the apeshit crackers people are angry for the wrong reason.  Disney is timidly giving us partial LGBT characters instead of fully-developed, strong, likeable characters we require and deserve.

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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
delkytlar
Mar. 7th, 2017 06:31 pm (UTC)
Amen. Disney could have done better. I hope they will next time.

Aside, ever notice that LeFou bears some resemblance to Wreck-It Ralph?
spiziks
Mar. 7th, 2017 08:49 pm (UTC)
Oh, geez. A little taller and . . .
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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