Why This Theater Is Refusing to Show 'Beauty and the Beast' Is Causing Controversy

March 3rd 2017

Almie Rose

The buzz around Disney's live action reboot of "Beauty and the Beast" has been strong, with many expressing their excitement for the upcoming film.

But due to reports that there may be a queer character included in the plot, some are upset. One movie theater in Alabama is banning the film from their establishment, which they laid out in a Facebook post.

"If I can't sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me then we have no business showing it."

In the film, Josh Gad plays the character of LeFou, sidekick to the villain Gaston. The director Bill Condon explained to Attitude that LeFou is "confused about what he wants."

"It’s somebody who’s just realising that he has these feelings," Condon continued. "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."

Henagar Drive-In Theatre of Henagar, Alabama, made their views about this very clear in a Facebook post on Friday.

"It is with great sorrow that I have to tell our customers that we will not be showing Beauty and the Beast at the Henagar Drive-In when it comes out," Henagar Drive-In wrote on their Facebook. (It is unclear who exactly the "I" refers to, though the post mentions the theater is under new ownership.)

They continue:

"When companies continually force their views on us we need to take a stand. We all make choices and I am making mine. For those that do not know Beauty and the Beast is 'premiering' their first homosexual character. The producer also says at the end of the movie 'there will be a surprise for same-sex couples'. If we can not take our 11 year old grand daughter and 8 year old grandson to see a movie we have no business watching it."

Though the post doesn't specify what or how exactly the depiction of same-sex couples in a Disney movie isn't OK for children to see, they seem to justify their decision with religion:

"If I can't sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me then we have no business showing it. I know there will be some that do not agree with this decision. That's fine. We are first and foremost Christians. We will not compromise on what the Bible teaches. 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. Thank you for your support!"

Reactions were mixed.

Though some praised the theater's stance on gay moments in Disney films, others were unhappy with the decision. Negative reaction on Twitter includeded :

On Facebook, the reactions were similarly mixed. However, one commenter asked this question: "Didn't the pope just talk about double standards? Can't be a loving christian [sic] and hate on people for wanting to love someone."

To answer that question, the pope did make an inclusive comment in April 2016. Pope Francis declared in his teachings, "[...] every person, regardless of sexual orientation, ought to be respected in his or her dignity and treated with consideration, while 'every sign of unjust discrimination' is to be carefully avoided, particularly any form of aggression and violence [...]." Someone get him tickets to "Beauty and the Beast."