Beauty and the Beast director on ‘overblown’ gay character: ‘Why is it a big deal?’

'Oh  God. Can I just tell you? It's all been overblown'

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The Independent Culture

Disney has boxed itself into a corner somewhat with Beauty and the Beast and this supposed ‘gay moment’.

It wasn’t declared by the studio in an explosion of social media rainbow flags but instead teased out of director Bill Condon during an interview, quickly grabbing headlines as a milestone in Disney history.

But it seems Condon is now feeling the ‘first LGBTQ character in a Disney film’ pressure, as the reality doesn’t quite match up (colleagues of mine have seen the film and say the moment is fleeting and slightly played for laughs).

"Oh God. Can I just tell you? It's all been overblown," he told ScreenCrush. "Because it's just this - it's part of just what we had fun with.

"I feel like the kind of thing has been.. I wish it were – I love the way it plays pure when people don't know and it comes as a nice surprise."

New trailer: Beauty and the Beast

Asked how audiences should approach the moment, he replied: “To not make a big deal about it. Why is it a big deal?”

It’s noble, trying to make the character not defined by their homosexuality, but social media is always going to ramp up the expectation around them.

Condon previously told Attitude of the character: "LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston. It is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie."

Beauty and the Beast opens in UK and US cinemas on Friday, 17 March.