Current Events: Beauty and the Beast Battles Homophobia

The release of Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson as Belle caused die hard Disney fans to purchase tickets early to ensure their spot in the theater on opening night, March 17th. Despite the anticipated frenzy to see a classic animated movie remade as a live action film with stunning cinematography and the same songs kids grew up listening to, there has been recent controversy regarding the film’s use of an “exclusively gay” moment in the film between Gaston’s sidekick, Lafou (Josh Gad), and Gaston (Luke Evans). According to CNN, Russian lawmakers are pushing to ban the movie, criticizing the movie by saying it is “a blatant, shameless propaganda of sin and perverted sexual relationships."

Obviously, Beauty and the Beast is not the first movie to exist that displays an openly gay couple. However, people are upset that such a relationship can be found in a Disney movie due to the company’s young target audience. This movement to get the film banned has also spread to the U.S. Theatres such as the Henagar Drive-In Theatre have chosen not to show the film. The specified theater specifically stated on their Facebook page that “[they] will not compromise on what the Bible teaches . . . [w]e will continue to show family-oriented films so you can feel free to come watch wholesome movies without worrying about sex, nudity, homosexuality and foul language." 

This statement thus proves the point that the relationship between the LGBT community and Christians remains strained. By banning this movie from theaters in the U.S., Americans are taking a step back in normalizing homosexual relations. Instead of the next generation existing without homophobia, such blatant prejudice teaches children that they have to live in fear if they identify as gay, bisexual, trans, etc.   

By Brooks Sullivan

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