When Disney’s remake of the classic film Beauty and the Beast came out in 2017, it had what many believe was Disney’s first gay character. LeFou — played by Josh Gad — is the infamous side-kick of Gaston, but more depth was given to his character in the remake. LeFou appears to have more-than-platonic feelings for Gaston, played by Luke Evans, and in the film’s final scene, LeFou ends up dancing with another man, and neither one seems to mind.
Many fans lauded the film for finally giving them a character who was a member of the LGBTQ community, even though it was not explicitly said. However, Gad does not feel the same way. He recently spoke to The Independent and said that, while he thought it was a good thing, the Beauty and the Beast remake should have gone a lot further. According to The Independent:
“We didn’t go far enough to warrant accolades,” agrees Gad. “We didn’t go far enough to say, ‘Look how brave we are.’ My regret in what happened is that it became ‘Disney’s first explicitly gay moment’ and it was never intended to be that. It was never intended to be a moment that we should laud ourselves for, because frankly, I don’t think we did justice to what a real gay character in a Disney film should be. That was not LeFou. If we’re going to pat ourselves on the back, then damn it we should have gone further with that. Everybody deserves an opportunity to see themselves on screen, and I don’t think we’ve done enough – and I certainly haven’t done enough to do that.”
While LeFou may have been Disney’s first gay character, he was not the last. Just a few months after the release of Beauty and the Beast, a new show premiered on the Disney Channel. The show was called Andi Mack, and it featured Disney’s first openly gay character, Cyrus Goodman. While Cyrus’s character did not officially come out until season 2, Disney did not hide his sexuality in season 1.
Josh was set to revive the role of LeFou in the new Disney prequel series Little Town. The show was also going to see Luke Evans back as Gaston. Little Town would revolve around LeFou and Gaston before they ever met Belle. Unfortunately, the show has been put on hold indefinitely as COVID put production behind schedule. Disney has said that scheduling conflicts have made it impossible for production to pick back up. However, the show has not been canceled at this time.
Do you think Disney should have gone further with the character of LeFou?