(K. Brent Tomer),
“BEAUTY AND THE BEAST” enjoyed a marketing boost in the weeks before its release. Bill Condon, the director, announced that the film features the first “exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie”: LeFou (Josh Gad) fancies other men. Soon after, Russian legislators slapped a 16+ rating on the film on the grounds of its “gay propaganda against minors” and a cinema in Alabama refused to screen it altogether (the owners said it contravened “God’s word”). The Malaysian government requested to cut the subplot; when Disney refused, the authorities decided to back down.
Yet the censors seem to forget that “gay moments” are strewn throughout the Disney canon. In “Cinderella” (1950), Gus and Jack, two male mice, snuggle up to each other; the cuddle is cute until Jack remembers Gus is a guy, pulling his arm away in horror. Timon and Pumbaa, two male characters in “The Lion King” (1994), enjoy a close relationship (and “dress in drag and do the hula”). “Star vs the Forces of Evil”, an animated children’s series, featured a gay couple kissing; “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” (2016) offered tender moments between Baze and…Continue reading