Christians, family groups and some foreign countries have objected to the company using a beloved fairy tale as a vehicle to normalize homosexual behavior.
Earlier this week, Disney said it would not cut a controversial scene containing an “exclusively gay moment” after the Malaysian government’s Film Censorship Board approved the movie for release as long as the the scene was removed.
The company opted to pull the movie from theaters there instead.
A Disney representative told Bloomberg, “The film has not been and will not be cut for Malaysia.”
Homosexual acts are banned in the Muslim-majority country of southeastern Asia country of nearly 30 million.
Movies with gay characters shown in Malaysia must have the characters portrayed negatively or repent by the film’s end to be approved.
The scene in question has the Le Fou character dancing happily away with another male upon landing in each other’s arms during a ballroom dance.
A trailer released with an earlier scene in the Beauty and the Beast remake shows Le Fou flirting with Gaston and appearing to embrace his same-sex attraction feelings.
The news of the gay portrayal in the movie came the same week that Disney introduced same-sex kissing into one of its animated children’s television programs.
Less blatant homosexual characterization has been woven into Disney’s TV programming in recent years. Some have speculated that other Disney movies characters for many years have actually been gay, just not fully “out.”
Christian evangelist Franklin Graham criticized Disney’s use of a pointedly gay character in its Beauty and the Beast remake, saying Disney was “trying push the LGBT agenda into the hearts and minds of your children.”
The group One Million Moms, which launched its own petition mentioning both Le Fou and the children’s cartoon, echoed Graham’s response. And an Alabama drive-in movie theater has declined to show the movie.
Joining the latest condemnation of Disney’s insertion of the gay agenda into the film is the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (American TFP).
The group launched a petition objecting to Disney presenting homosexuality as normal to children, saying it contradicts God’s law and is a danger for impressionable children.
“This is not entertainment and above all it’s not for children,” it states.
The American Family Association (AFA) has also produced a letter to Disney for supporters to sign.
AFA told its subscribers, “Parents should be warned that Disney has given the green light to a strong LGBTQ agenda in a movie that targets the 5- to 11-year-old demographic market.”
The group is co-producing an animated film as an alterative to the Disney’s efforts.
The Anglican Bishop of Singapore also weighed in, writing a letter to clergy asking them to warn their congregations “about the homosexual content in Disney’s remake of Beauty and the Beast.”
Mom-lifestyle blogger Brooke Poston wrote about her family’s decision not only to skip the Beauty and the Beast remake but to cancel plans for a Disney vacation, linking to LifeSiteNews’ petition in the post.
The family’s response to Disney was significant given her daughter’s love of Disney princesses.
Poston told LifeSiteNews she received considerable hate mail as a result of her blog post. She was cursed and called horrible names, and her children were targeted as well.
She wrote another post in response, which gained media attention and subsequent coverage.
“By the next day,” she said, “Huffington Post reached out to me for a response and within 72 hours my thoughts were shared all over the world.”
While she was taken aback by the hostility directed at her family because of their decision, Poston maintains that she has no animus toward anyone, even those who have lashed out at her. She is simply acting according to her Bible-based convictions.
This week, two stars of the Beauty and the Beast reboot continued in this vein, jeering those who have taken issue with Disney’s gay character.
Actor Ian McKellen, who plays Cogsworth, the castle steward who was transformed into a clock in the story, said he has become a Disney fan because this version of Beauty and the Beast chose to include a gay character, CBN News reports.
“I'm glad Disney has grown up,” McKellen said at the film’s New York City premiere on Monday.
“I love the fact that there's a little gay moment in this movie, you know, here we are in the 21st century,” he continued. “There's a lot of gay people around. Why shouldn't they be in the movie. Just briefly, it's lovely — lovely, lovely color.”
McKellen, who is openly homosexual, joked that “Beauty and the Beast” has become “a gay extravaganza,” and said those who had spoken out or taken action opposing Disney’s move were “stupid” and “prejudiced.”
Ewan McGregor, who plays Lumiere the candlestick, joked on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert about Christian views of homosexual behavior and took a shot at the drive-in theater owners who chose not to show the film.
“There is a lot of gay sex in this cartoon,” he said. “If you live anywhere near Alabama, you should not go see this film. What would Jesus think?”
After Colbert played down the Le Fou characterization, McGregor corrected him, using profanity and going on to say that people need to get with the times.
“He's a gay character!” McGregor said. “It’s 2017 for #*&$ sake!”