Meet Le Fou (played by Josh Gad), Gaston's trusty friend/sidekick, who—in an unexpected twist—has romantic feelings for him.
"LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston," director Bill Condon tells Attitude. "He's confused about what he wants. It's somebody who's just realizing that he has these feelings. And Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that's what has its payoff at the end, which I don't want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie. It may have been a long time coming but this is a watershed moment for Disney."
Condon continues, "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."
Considering Beauty and the Beast is set to be a giant box office win targeted largely toward children, this is a major moment for LGBT visibility.