Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is set to open in a couple weeks, revamping the classic 1991 film and giving it that sweet sweet live action and CGI update. Given lead actor Emma Watson’s reputation as an outspoken feminist and activist, the film has updated her character Belle to be a little less damsel and a little more independent. But Belle isn’t the only aspect of the story being brought up to date. This film will (drum roll please) also give us the first openly gay character in Disney movie history: LeFou. It only took 80 years, hundreds of movies and a civil rights revolution, but Disney is finally dipping a toe into the water.
In the original film, LeFou is Gaston’s bumbling sidekick and punching bag best known for singing the “Gaston” song, a number that can certainly be read as homoerotic but probably isn’t meant to be.
“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston…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.”
Just last week, a Disney showed its first same-sex kiss on an episode of Star vs. The Forces of Evil, a cartoon show on Disney XD, so between that and Le Fou’s new character development, clearly Disney is making some huge strides in LGBT representation. It’s about damn time.