Josh Gad has a special honor attached to his role as LeFou in the upcoming live-action update of Beauty and the Beast. In that role, he’ll be playing Disney’s first openly gay character. Well done, Disney.
It’s pretty reasonable to suggest that there are loads of Disney characters that could identify under the LGBTQ2 umbrella, but Gad will be hitting the milestone of being the first distinctly out gay character. Gods and Monsters director Bill Condon revealed this detail and another important breakthrough moment he has crafted for the update in a rather insightful interview with Attitude.
“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” reveals Condon.
“He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realising 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.”
Representation is a beautiful and necessary thing at the movies. Disney’s far from perfect in this regard, but the studio deserves points for chugging forward and making the effort. Touches like this, committing to an Asian cast for their Mulan redo and taking the Broderick/JTT factor out of The Lion King signals an era of Disney that goes beyond one-size-fits-all thinking.
Beauty and the Beast arrives in theaters on March 17.