'Beauty and the Beast' Director Says 'Gay Moment' is 'Overblown'

Monday March 6, 2017

News that the upcoming live-action remake of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" will feature the company's first openly gay character has quite a stir over the last week.

Director Bill Condon revealed earlier this month in an interview Attitude magazine that Gaston's sidekick LeFou, played by Josh Gad, will be explicitly gay. The announcement unsurprisingly sent conservative Christians into a tizzy, sparking a boycott and a drive-in movie theater in Alabama to nix its screenings of "Beauty and the Beast." The BBC also reported Russian officials are considering banning the film due to the country's highly controversial "homosexual propaganda" law.

After all the hubbub, Condon is dialing back what he called a "watershed moment," explaining to USA Today at the "Beauty and the Beast" Los Angeles premiere Thursday that the film's script doesn't specifically note LeFou is gay.

In an interview with ScreenCrush Friday, Condon told the website about the scene and explained the character's sexuality.

"Oh God. Can I just tell you? It's all been overblown. Because it's just this, it's part of just what we had fun with," the filmmaker told ScreenCrush. "You saw the movie, yeah? You know what I mean. I feel like the kind of thing has been, I wish it were - I love the way it plays pure when people don't know and it comes as a nice surprise."

He later said he hopes audiences won't "make a big deal of it. Why is it a big deal?"

Watch a clip of LeFou in "Beauty and the Beast," which hits theaters March 17, below.