In Disney's upcoming live-action reboot of Beauty and the Beast, LeFou, Gaston's simpering sidekick, has been reimagined as a gay man who follows in the muscular villain's footsteps out of both a sense of reverence and (unrequited?) love.
In a recent interview with Attitude magazine, director Bill Condon was frank in his description of LeFou's feelings for Gaston and promised that by the film's end, audiences could expect an "exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie" that's long overdue. For one Alabama drive-in theater, however, Beauty and the Beast's 21st century depiction of queer romance is reason enough to refuse to show the film.
In a recent Facebook post, the owner of the Henagar Drive-In Theatre stated that even though the theater was scheduled to screen the movie when it premieres later this month, news of LeFou's newfound homosexuality was in conflict with their Christian beliefs.
"If we can not take our 11 year old grand daughter and 8 year old grandson to see a movie we have no business watching it," the post reads. "If I can't sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me then we have no business showing it."
While the owners of the theater might have assumed that their customers would feel similarly, but the bulk of the comments on the post so far have been rather sharp critiques of the owners' narrow minded thinking.
"Your understanding of Jesus is pretty slim," one person wrote. "There are more verses in the Bible about eating pork than there are about being Gay. I love Drive IN movie theatres, but I hope yours becomes as closed as your mind."
I've reached out to both Disney and the people at Henagar and will update if hear back.