Pop Culture

Alabama Theater Cancels ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Because One Character Is Gay

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(Facebook/Beauty and the Beast)

Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast opens around the U.S. on March 17, but not at one little Alabama theater, because they’ve decided to cancel the movie now that the director confirmed that Gaston’s sidekick, LeFou, is gay.

According to CNN, the Henagar Drive-In Theatre in Alabama announced Friday on its Facebook page that it would not be showing Beauty and the Beast. It’s their theater, and they don’t have to show any movie they don’t want to show, but they posted the info on Facebook, so we all get to make fun of them a bit for canceling Beauty and the Beast because they think kids can’t see a movie in which a supporting character is a dude who likes other dudes.

“It is with great sorrow that I have to tell our customers that we will not be showing Beauty and the Beast at the Henagar Drive-In when it comes out,” the company announced on its Facebook page, according to WHNT News. “When companies continually force their views on us we need to take a stand. We all make choices and I am making mine. For those that do not know Beauty and the Beast is “premiering” their first homosexual character. The producer also says at the end of the movie “there will be a surprise for same-sex couples.” If we can not take our 11-year-old granddaughter and 8-year-old grandson to see a movie we have no business watching it. If I can’t sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me, then we have no business showing it.”

I have heard of people saying, “Jesus, take the wheel,” but this is the first I have heard of, “Jesus, get the popcorn.”

The big gay issue with Beauty and the Beast is that LeFou is gay and is attracted to Gaston. There’s a bit of low-key flirting, and Entertainment Weekly says at one point in the movie he waltzes with another man. Quick! Someone get the smelling salts, this is too much scandal for Aunt Bertha.

The primary sexual relationship in Beauty and the Beast is between Emma Watson and a really big talking dog, but the fact that Gaston’s sidekick is gay is apparently just too much for the little theater. That’s fine, the owners of this Alabama drive-in can show what movies they want. (They are currently showing Passengers, and have the new Pirates of the Caribbean as an upcoming feature.) That’s their right, just as it’s our right as consumers to decide which theaters we do and do not want to patronize. Personally, I would not choose to spend money at a theater that would cancel a movie for having a gay character in it, but it’s not like I was going to be going to a drive-in in Alabama, either. I’m going to be going to one of those big swanky theaters with reserved seats, giant recliners, and Champagne at the concessions stand. They can protest what they want, though. One does not imagine this drive-in’s ticket sales will do much to hurt Disney’s profits this year.