Disney’s new Beauty and the Beast film has sparked controversy, after its director revealed it will include two gay plotlines.
The film, a live-action remake of the 90s animated version, is set to be released in the UK in two weeks, rated PG.
Director Bill Condon told homosexual magazine Attitude that his own sexuality gave him a political motive for introducing the plot lines.
Beauty and the Beast is built around a classic fairytale romance between the character Belle and a beast-like creature who is really a prince.
But the new release will apparently include a ‘gay twist’ between key character Gaston and his sidekick LeFou.
Condon told Attitude: “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. He’s just realising that he has these feelings.”
According to Condon, the film will also introduce another minor character who is ‘discovering his sexuality’, leading to “a moment” at the end of the film.
Reacting to the news, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Albert Mohler said: “We’re talking about entertainment with an agenda, an agenda to reach eyes and ears and hearts and minds, directed at children.
“It may not be surprising, but it truly is shocking.”
A petition calling for parents to boycott Disney has been circulating and now has over 40,000 signatures. It aims to: “Send a strong message to Disney that children’s entertainment is no place to promote a harmful sexual political agenda.”
‘Pushing an agenda’
Disney was further criticised this week, after it aired a same-sex kissing scene during a broadcast of its cartoon “Star vs. the Forces of Evil”.
Commenting on the scene, website One Million Mums said: “Disney should stick to entertaining instead of pushing an agenda”.
Beauty and the Beast airs in UK cinemas on 17 March.