Beauty and the Beast has been entertaining audiences and families for decades now, ever since the original animated Disney movie hit theaters in 1991. As seems to be the trend with the company right now, a live-action adaptation of the film has been made. Starring Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast and Luke Evans as Gaston, changes had been made to the story to make it ready for a modern day audience. One of those revealed this week by director Bill Condon, is that the character LeFou (Josh Gad) will be gay.
As would be expected, the decision to include an exclusively gay character in a Disney movie was met with varying reactions. Some welcomed the addition, while others were left a little put off. Finding themselves in the latter, the owners of an Alabama Theater have taken their disapproval of the decision a step further.
Taking to Facebook to announce the news that their drive-in theater would no longer be showing the new movie, the owners wrote:
“As of December 16th the Henagar Drive-In is under new ownership. Movies scheduled prior to that date and four weeks after this date were not scheduled by the new owners. That being said…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. 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 grand daughter 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 know there will be some that do not agree with this decision. That’s fine. We are first and foremost Christians. We will not compromise on what the Bible teaches. We 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. Thank you for your support!”
The comments are being met with some support, but a majority of criticism on social media, with many pointing out the hypocrisy of removing Beauty and the Beast for including a homosexual character, when the theater has already shown movies such as Passengers, which includes scenes of nudity and sex. One Facebook user even points out that the theater showed Fifty Shades Darker, though no evidence of this can be found on the Henegar Drive-In’s page.
A Dog’s Purpose is another film still available at the theater, which includes themes of reincarnation; something that the Bible is wholly against. It’s not clear whether the owners were aware of this, but posts advertising the film still remain on their social media despite comments from potential patrons making them aware of the themes.
It’s going to be interesting to see if patrons continue to visit the theater to commend them for sticking to their guns and going against the grain with their decision, or if the drive-in will be boycotted altogether.
- Beauty and the Beast (2017) release date: Mar 17, 2017