Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast will make history by featuring a gay character for the first time. But at least one theater is refusing to show the highly anticipated movie because of it.
WHNT News 19 reports that the new owner of the Henagar Drive-In Theatre in Alabama is refusing to show Beauty and the Beast now that the movie's director, Bill Condon, has confirmed that LeFou, played by Josh Gad, will be the center of an "exclusively gay moment."
The theater owner wrote on Facebook that Disney is hinting "there will be a surprise for same-sex couples." And because the owner is religious and opposed to same-sex relationships, the theater will not show the movie. "If we cannot take our 11-year-old granddaughter and 8-year-old grandson to see a movie, we have no business watching it," the post on the theater's Facebook page reads. "We will continue to show family-oriented films so you can feel free to come watch wholesome movies without worrying about sex, nudity, homosexuality, and foul language." The post has received hundreds of comments, some defending the theater for taking a personal stand, while others condemning what they call a homophobic decision.
(Spoilers ahead: In reality, the "surprise for gay couples" is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment. LeFou possibly gazes a little too long at Gaston at times, and at the very end he dances with a man, but it's not a major part of the movie by any means.)
The theater generally sticks to movies catered to families and kids, and is promoting the new Smurfs and Despicable Me movies as coming soon. Its website still promotes Beauty and the Beast as "coming in March." But surprisingly, the site also promotes the drag documentary Fierce as a coming attraction, despite taking a stand against Disney's gay character. But the theater is under new ownership, so that may be subject to change.
Cosmopolitan.com has reached out to the Henagar Drive-In Theatre for comment and will update if they respond.