Beauty and the Beast: Alabama Cancels Screenings due to Gay Character

Just in case you thought that progress in gender and sexual idetity has been made, please read this item from Variety.

Moviegoers at a drive-in theater in Alabama won’t be able to see a retelling of the “tale as old as time.”

The Henagar Drive-In Theatre in DeKalb County has canceled its screenings of Beauty and the Beast because the film features Disney’s first openly gay character.

Director Bill Condon recently told Attitude magazine that Josh Gad’s LeFou — villain Gaston’s (Luke Evans) eccentric sidekick — will be Disney’s first-ever LGBTQ character–a way of honoring the original 1991 animation’s late lyricist Howard Ashman.

The announcement follows the Alabama theater’s change in ownership. “When companies continually force their views on us, we need to take a stand. We all make choices and I am making mine,” a statement on the northeast Alabama theater’s Facebook page read. “If we cannot 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.”

The company acknowledged that their actions may be controversial, but concluded “that’s fine.” “We are first and foremost Christians,” the statement continues. “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.”

“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” Condon told U.K.’s Attitude. “He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings. And Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that’s what has its payoff at the end, which I don’t want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”

Gad tweeted on Tuesday that he’s “beyond proud” of  the milestone.