The director of Disney’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast” re-boot announced this week the movie will feature a gay character. Because of that, owners of Henagar Drive-In Theatre in rural Alabama say they will not show the movie.
The reason given? Religion. The theater’s owners say they’re just putting their faith first, reports CBS News correspondent Tony Dokoupil.
“This by no means is sending a message of hatred or bigotry. However, we are Christians first and foremost and must adhere to our Bible and to our Christianity,” owner Carol Laney said.
In a now-deleted Facebook post, Laney said she won’t take her grandchildren to a movie with a gay character, let alone show it at her venue.
“As business owners, we take pride and caution in showing discernment in what we play at our drive-in,” Laney said.
The decision comes after the announcement this week from the film’s director, Bill Condon, promising what he calls an “exclusively gay moment.” The character in question: Gaston’s best friend, LeFou, played by Josh Gad.
“There is a moment in the film that is pretty subtle, that’s pretty wonderful, and I’m excited for people to see it and experience it for themselves,” Gad said.
“It’s never ever written in the script. As it was, director Bill Condon said it was never his intention for this character specifically to be gay,” “Entertainment Tonight” senior news editor Jennifer Peros said. “It’s just the way Josh had performed it and the way that he was acting in one scene that’s getting a lot of people to speculate: Do we have our first gay character in a Disney film?”
While the role is open to interpretation for some, the theater owner said the decision is clear.
“We respect the choice of others who choose to support other movie theaters by watching this movie. However, we hope that you respect our choice not to play it at our drive-in,” Laney said.