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Alabama Theater Won’t Show ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Because of Josh Gad’s Gay LeFou

Disney
Disney

When director Bill Condon confirmed that his live-action Beauty and the Beast remake features a gay character, it was only a matter of time before someone made a fuss over it. Turns out, that someone is a somewhere — a drive-in theater in Alabama, where the owner is refusing to screen the new Disney film because Josh Gad’s character, LeFou, is gay.

The residents of Henagar, Alabama will have to go elsewhere if they want to see Beauty and the Beast this weekend. With a population of just over 2,300, Henagar only has one movie theater — the local Henagar Drive-In Theatre — and the owner has decided not to show Disney’s latest live-action remake because the inclusion of a gay character conflicts with their Christian values:

The owner says that any films booked prior to December 16 and four weeks after that date were scheduled by the previous owner, but under new management, the drive-in will not show films that include “sex, nudity, homosexuality and foul language.” That’s a pretty tall order. Right now, the only two films playing at the theater are The Eagle Huntress (a documentary about a 13-year-old Kazakh girl training to become an eagle hunter in a predominantly male tradition) and A Dog’s Purpose — a film that centers on the many lives of a dog who is reincarnated, a spiritual concept that is rejected by Christianity. Maybe the owner of the Henagar Drive-In didn’t get that memo?

Fortunately, residents of Henagar won’t have to go far to see Beauty and the Beast, which is screening in neighboring towns just a short drive away. As of now, it doesn’t appear to have sparked a trend among other small theater owners, and while it’s a disappointing development, it’s not exactly unexpected. Someone was going to make a statement about it, and the fact that it’s the owner of a tiny drive-in theater in a very small Alabama town underscores how ridiculous this sort of bigotry is in 2017. Good luck with your crusade, Henagar Drive-In.

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