Disney’s hit: a miss for diversity

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In a move that’s becoming increasingly common for Disney, the classic 1991 animated film “Beauty and the Beast,” has been transformed into a live action movie  starring Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast. When the remake was announced, it was met with excitement from fans of the cast and the original film alike. Through the official trailer, it is easy to see that the cinematography is beautiful and well thought out and should create a pleasing film to look at, which can make or break a film in the box office. 

Courtesy of Melissa Hillier via Flickr
Emma Watson and Dan Stevens star in “Beauty and the Beast,” a live action version of the 1991 classic. This movie is monumental in the Disney franchise for featuring the first gay character to make an appearance in a Disney film.

“Beauty and the Beast,” up until recently, had been met with overwhelmingly positive feedback, and In a move that should have brought more positive press to the film, the film’s team announced that LeFou, played by Jesse Corti, would be Disney’s first gay character.

Some were pleased with this new development. “I think it’s awesome that Disney is continuing to diversify their characters by giving representation to the LGBTQ+ community,” said sophomore Maggie Landis. Others, however, were not pleased.

In the original film, LeFou was simply a sidekick to Gaston; a comedic relief character whose sole purpose was to make Gaston look better and boost his ego. Even though Gaston mistreats the character throughout the entire movie and does not respect him in the least, LeFou continuously looks up to him and admires him. While the love interest for LeFou has not been revealed to the general public yet, it’s an easy conclusion to jump to that LeFou will be in love with Gaston. If that is the case, this will portray the gay character as nothing more than a man who pines after a straight man that doesn’t respect him at all. It’s a degrading representation of the LGBTQ+ community.  

Ultimately, it makes no sense to take this monumental leap into diversity with an evil, secondary character. If Disney wanted to show their diversity and prove that they support the LGBTQ+ community they would give viewers a movie starring a gay prince or a lesbian who is vital to the story line, not a yes man that was made gay in the film as an attempt to catch up with other more diverse movie studios.

 

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