According to Disney star Josh Gad, despite the media’s lauding of his role as LeFou in the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast as Disney’s ‘first gay character’, the character “didn’t go far enough to warrant accolades”.
In 2017, Disney made headlines with the announcement that Gad’s version of LeFou would be the company’s first openly gay character, earning a bevy of praise for this decision from such outlets as The Hollywood Reporter, Vanity Fair, and NBC News.
However, when the film premiered, fans discovered that the character’s sexuality was only briefly hinted at in a ‘blink-and-you’ll-miss-it’ moment seen at the film’s conclusion wherein LeFou is seen switching dance partners and ending up paired with another man – a moment hardly worth writing home about.
Reflecting back on this media fervor during a recent interview with The Independent, Gad revealed that he felt much of this hype was unwarranted, as the film “didn’t go far enough to warrant accolades.”
“We didn’t go far enough to say, ‘Look how brave we are,’” said the Frozen voice actor. “My regret in what happened is that it became ‘Disney’s first explicitly gay moment’ and it was never intended to be that.”
He continued, “It was never intended to be a moment that we should laud ourselves for, because frankly, I don’t think we did justice to what a real gay character in a Disney film should be.”
“That was not LeFou,” Gad then asserted. “If we’re going to pat ourselves on the back, then damn it we should have gone further with that. Everybody deserves an opportunity to see themselves on screen, and I don’t think we’ve done enough – and I certainly haven’t done enough to do that.”
It’s likely Gad will get a chance to explore the live-action LeFou’s sexuality swap in the upcoming Beauty and the Beast prequel series, set to begin production for Disney Plus later this spring.
The series, titled Beauty and the Beast, will see Josh Gad and Luke Evans reprise their roles as LeFou and Gaston from the 2017 live-action film. They will be joined by Briana Middleton, who will play Tilly, LeFou’s stepsister.
What do you make of Gad’s opinion of how Disney handled LeFou’s sexuality? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!