This last week Bill Condon, director of “Beauty and the Beast”, announced this tale as old as time is getting a revamp.
The much anticipated film will feature Disney’s first “exclusively gay moment” as LeFou, the bumbling sidekick and comic relief from the animated version explores his sexuality and some more character depth.
In response to this announcement, Utah State University students expressed their thoughts and opinions.
“I think it’s cool and interesting,” said Kelsey Steeneck, a sophomore majoring in family consumer and human development. “Disney has had a lot of twists recently with its new movies, and I think it adds another secret love triangle. It makes it more dramatic.”
Megan Tassinarie, a freshman majoring in human biology echoed a similar sentiment.
“I think it’s kinda cool. It’s a neat twist to the story,” she said. “I had never thought about it but I can definitely see it happening based on the animated one.”
Steeneck said though she is looking forward to seeing how the movie will portray this new twist to a classic story, the information does not increase or lessen her desire to see the movie.
Amy Cervantes, a LGBT supporter, said she was not planning on seeing the movie and that the addition of an “exclusively gay moment” does not change anything.
While Cervantes expressed appreciation for the openness of Disney in including a gay character she doubts the majority of moviegoers will notice the sexual orientation of LeFou.
“Half the people who watched ‘Finding Dory,’ me included, didn’t even notice the lesbian couple because they were focusing on the fish,” Cervantes said.
Choosing the very first proclaimed gay character is a big step for Disney, Tassinarie said, and she thinks LeFou is the perfect fit.
“He has that whole song in the movie about Gaston,” she said. “I don’t think there would have been anyone better to pick for it.”
Steeneck said she feels the LGBT community will be excited about this decision and might even advertise it.
One student, who wished to remain anonymous said “though many students tend to view this as a big step, it is interesting to note that LeFou means ‘the fool’ in french which makes one wonder whether or not featuring LeFou as the first gay Disney character is flattering or indeed a step forward for the LGBT community.”
Cervantes said she believes that although LeFou’s sexual orientation is a step in the right direction, it will be much more monumental when Disney decides to cast a protagonist who is gay or lesbian.
Steeneck said she is interested to see where Disney will go from here.
“Right now there are very stereotypical gender roles,” she said. “There’s a princess and a prince and they end up getting married and it makes me wonder if it will eventually end up being two princes or two princess who end up together.”
Steeneck also said depending on how the movie plays out, it could be an opportunity to spark more discussion and increase understanding of the LGBT community.