Josh Gad Responds To 'Beauty and the Beast''s Lefou Controversy

Josh Gad Responds To 'Beauty and the Beast''s Lefou Controversy

By Robert Dougherty Mar 07, 2017 12:17 PM
Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Ever since Beauty and the Beast director Bill Condon revealed that Josh Gad's version of henchman Lefou was gay, reactions have been pretty heated to say the least. However, Gad himself responded to it by telling People Magazine that Lefou and his ultimate fate are another part of the film's “Never judging a book by its cover" message.

Although a theater in Alabama has refused to screen the movie after the Lefou revelation, and Russia gave the film its most restrictive rating after speculation that it would outright ban it, Gad still urged that "this film is one of inclusiveness,” and 'has something to offer everyone.” But the backlash seems to back up Gad's point that “There is so much fear out there of that which we don’t understand that which we don’t know."

The film itself also backs that up through Luke Evans' Gaston, regardless of whether Lefou has unrequited love for him or not, as Gad points out how Gaston "uses his charm offensive to whip other people into a frenzy to go and attack somebody they’ve never met" only because Gaston says that it "represents a danger." While such tactics have become more powerful in real life, Evans assured at the Beauty and the Beast premiere that in the movie it ultimately "fails miserably, and everybody finds love. Everyone!”

That message also comes across through Lefou, as Gad spoiled that a “subtle but incredibly effective” moment for him at the end hints at his own "happily ever after." Yet for all the controversy that has erupted over the last week, it may only amount to subtle and very small moments on screen that merely dance around the issue, much like when Star Trek Beyond gave Sulu a husband in a mere cameo last summer.

Criticism over Lefou's newfound sexuality hasn't just been limited to right-wing conservatives, however, in part because Disney's first confirmed openly gay character is a mere lackey who willingly takes the abuse of a man that doesn't share his feelings.

To many online, it isn't exactly the most progressive way to break this kind of glass ceiling, even if their backlash hasn't been as vocal or as well covered as those protesting for more hateful reasons. Some have wondered if Cogsworth would have been a more fitting choice, especially since he is voiced by the actually openly gay Ian McKellen, or even Ewan McGregor's Lumiere.

Whatever the future holds for making LGBTQ characters and their orientation a more important and open part of Disney films, Beauty and the Beast will open the door on March 17. Still, whether it is a true step forward may remain a matter of debate beyond that.

Tags: Beauty and the Beast (2017), Star Trek Beyond (2016), Josh Gad, Luke Evans, Bill Condon
About the Author
Robert Dougherty is a longtime online freelance writer, who wrote reviews, articles & editorials on movies/TV for several years on the now defunct Yahoo Voices.
Follow Me:

Related News

By TMN | March 27, 2017 at 1:52 pm
'Beauty and the Beast' has become the highest grossing live-action musical of all time. The Bill Condon-directed film, which stars the likes of Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, has proven to be...Read More
By TMN | March 22, 2017 at 10:56 am
'Beauty and the Beast' will not get a sequel. The recently released live-action remake of the 1991 animated Disney classic - which stars Emma Watson and Dan Stevens as Belle and the titular...Read More
By TMN | March 21, 2017 at 1:29 pm
'Beauty and the Beast's enchanted forests featured a staggering 20,000 icicles. Filmmakers have shared the secrets of making the live action Disney tale on a spectacular set built on the...Read More