Alabama Theater Has Moral Beef With Beauty and the Beast

The drive-in won't show the film, which features a gay character
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2017 8:30 PM CST

(Newser) – A drive-in theater in Alabama says it won't show Disney's live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast after the film's director announced it would feature Disney's first openly gay character, Fusion reports. Director Bill Condon says LeFou, sidekick to the film's villain and played by Josh Gad, is gay and the film will feature an "exclusively gay moment." But patrons of Henagar Drive-In Theatre won't see it. "When companies continually force their views on us, we need to take a stand," the owner of the drive-in says in a Facebook post Thursday. "If I can't sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me, then we have no business showing it."

The owner of the theater, which recently changed ownership, says having a gay character makes the film inappropriate for children. He says he's a Christian and the theater puts the Bible ahead of any financial considerations. That's good, because most of the responses to the post have been critical of the theater. But Henagar Drive-In Theatre isn't alone. NBC News reports a "pro-life and pro-family" group has started an online petition to boycott Beauty and the Beast (which NBC notes was already the story of "a girl who falls in love with an animal") because LeFou is gay. The petition has more than 50,000 signatures. Meanwhile, Variety's film critic says if Beauty and the Beast was attempting to portray LeFou as gay, it failed. So this may all be much ado about nothing. (Read more Beauty and the Beast stories.)

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