Disney is about to make history.
The live-action remake of “Beauty and the Beast” that hits theaters March 17 will be the first Disney film to include an “exclusively gay moment,” director Bill Condon has revealed.
One small subplot focuses on the relationship between leading man Gaston, played by Luke Evans, and his sidekick LeFou, played by Tony Award nominee Josh Gad.
LeFou is conflicted about his feelings for Gaston, who is busy wooing Belle, played by Emma Watson.
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“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” Condon said in an interview with Attitude, a British gay lifestyle magazine.
“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.”
The news comes on the heels of what some keen observers say was the first gay kiss in a Disney cartoon this week.
In a “Star vs. the Forces of Evil” episode on Disney XD, a scene at a boy band concert showed several people, including gay and lesbian couples, kissing to the song “Just Friends,” according to Heat Street and Digital Spy.
“The House of Mouse just aired its first-ever, same-sex kiss in a Disney cartoon – which might not sound like a massive step forward, but it’s a first for the network,” noted Digital Spy.
Disney has included gay couples in its TV shows before, including a lesbian couple in “Good Luck Charlie.” Fans have also speculated that characters in the films “Zootopia,” “Finding Dory” and “Frozen” are gay, Heat Street notes.
The possibility of a LGBTQ Disney princess sometime in the future has also come up. Last year the hashtag #GiveElsaAGirlfriend trended as fans expressed support for an openly gay relationship for the “Frozen” character.
“It seems like the possibilities are pretty open at this point,” the director of “Moana,” Ron Clements, said last year.
Attitude editor-in-chief Matt Cain hailed the “Beauty and the Beast” news.
“It may have been a long time coming, but this is a watershed moment for Disney,” Cain said.
“By representing same-sex attraction in this short but explicitly gay scene, the studio is sending out a message that this is normal and natural – and this is a message that will be heard in every country of the world, even countries where it’s still socially unacceptable or even illegal to be gay.”