The controversy created by Disney when it decided to promote homosexuality in its new version of the children’s story “Beauty and the Beast” is starting to wear already for those who worked on the project.
In fact, composer Alan Menken, who has won Grammy, Tony and Oscar honors over the years, says he’s shutting up about it.
The Hollywood Reporter documented his concern.
Asked about the controversy, and whether the “supposed homosexual character Lefou” serves as a tribute to Menken’s former Disney colleague Howard Ashman, who died of HIV, Menken said: “Being honest, it actually wasn’t an idea that was discussed. I mean, I really allowed Bill [Condon, the director] free rein. Still, when I look at the movie, OK, if you want to interpret it that way, you could.”
He told the Reporter: “The only difference is Lefou and Gaston are a little less exaggerated in their behavior, and there’s this teeny little wink at the very end that doesn’t really say anything. It’s beyond tiny, it’s not even visible. Listen, anything that’s about inclusivity and a tribute to Howard is a beautiful thing.
“But, at this point, I just – you know, with the attention that particular [issue] got, I’m just shutting up.”
WND reported Disney long has promoted the “gay” agenda at its theme parks, featuring, for example, “gay days” that has moved the company far from founder Walt Disney, who “personally” fired Tommy Kirk, the actor of “Swiss Family Robinson” fame, over his homosexuality.
But since then, Disney used “out” singer Elton John’s music for “The Lion King” and more.
Its move to promote being “gay” to children, however, has prompted a reaction, including a petition calling for a boycott of Disney “until it stops promoting homosexuality in children’s movies and programming.”
Franklin Graham, CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Association, also has called for a boycott.
“Disney has aired a cartoon with same-sex couples kissing. It has also been announced that their new movie ‘Beauty and the Beast’ will feature a gay character in an attempt to normalize this lifestyle,” he wrote on Facebook.
“They’re trying to push the LGBT agenda into the hearts and minds of your children – watch out! Disney has the right to make their cartoons, it’s a free country. But as Christians we also have the right not to support their company. I hope Christians everywhere will say no to Disney.”
Graham noted that when he was a young boy he met Walt Disney, who was “very gracious to me, my father Billy Graham, and my younger brother when we visited.”
Walt Disney, he said, “would be shocked at what has happened to the company that he started,” Graham wrote.
He encouraged readers to “let Disney know how you feel.”
It was movie director Bill Condon who spoke of the “exclusively gay moment” in the movie, when the character LeFou reportedly reveals his attraction to Gaston.
“It may have been a long time coming, but this is a watershed moment for Disney,” Condon stated. “By representing same-sex attraction in this short but explicitly gay scene, the studio is sending out a message that this is normal and natural – and this is a message that will be heard in every country of the world, even countries where it’s still socially unacceptable or even illegal to be gay.”
Actually, Disney isn’t quite making that happen.
The movie was pulled from Malaysia even after censors approved it after the “gay scene” was cut.
Disney didn’t explain its decision there.
But scenes promoting homosexuality are banned in the mostly Muslim country.
MovieGuide noted Menken’s comments, which included: “It’s just nuts. As far as I can tell, some journalist in England decided to make it his cause célèbre to push this agenda. It’s really not really part of the movie in any overt way at all. … any more than it was in the original. To me, it’s an utter non-issue. I’d appreciate people realizing that it’s a non-issue because it’s just silly. But, that’s journalism, and I understand.’
The MovieGuide report added: “Sadly, however, the director of the movie said during a recent press conference in Los Angeles that inserting the pro-homosexual (and pro-cross dressing) content into Disney’s new version of the classic heterosexual fairy tale was a matter of ‘diversity.’ Also, contrary to the composer’s comments above that the homosexual and cross-dressing elements were not ‘overt,’ Movieguide®’s screening of the movie found that this content was indeed overt and not implied.”
Condon later tried to backtrack, saying the issue was “overblown” and actor Josh Gad, who plays the “supposed gay character,” said the character’s sexuality wasn’t even in the script.
MovieGuide Managing Editor Ben Kayser said it’s possible both that Disney is using the issue for publicity and LGBT activitists are “eager to herald a beloved Disney movie as their own.”
MovieGuide’s review said the positives in the movie “are marred by some annoying, gratuitous politically correct homosexual references that are on the nose, out of place and in your face.”
It continues: “Introducing modern leftist, homosexual politics into a timeless fairy tale for children is the height of self-righteous smugness. It not only offends viewers who don’t agree with such controversial politics, or who don’t agree with inserting controversial politics into a movie for children. It also takes the viewer’s attention away from the main story … to stroke the selfish egos of the leftist filmmakers behind such a narcissistic movie.
“It will also probably take away from the movie’s ultimate financial success at the box office and on home video.”
The studio reportedly spent $300 million making it.
The movie trailer is here:
The London Daily Mail also has reported on a same-sex kiss in the Disney TV show called “Star vs. the Forces of Evil.”
“In an episode of Star vs. the Forces of Evil which aired on channel Disney XD a gay couple can be seen sharing a kiss for this first time in the history of the company,” the report said. “In the second series of the cartoon, protagonist Star and her friend Marco attend a concert and find themselves surrounded by kissing couples. … Among the crowd two men can be seen sharing a smooch and later in the episode two further lesbian couples are also spotted kissing.”