John Gad has spoken out over the furore prompted by the inclusion of a gay character in Beauty and the Beast.
Director Bill Condon recently announced that the film would feature an "exclusively gay moment" for the first time in Disney history.
The news has caused uproar in Russia and some conservative areas of America where Christian churches have said they will boycott the film.
In the live action remake of the Disney classic, Gad, who plays Gaston sidekick LeFou, is said to come to the realisation that he has romantic feelings for the other character.
Since the reaction to his role, the 36-year-old actor has spoken out and says the scene is "subtle but incredibly effective", and hints at a happily ever after for the two characters.
He told People that the moment teaches an important lesson central to the theme of the film: "Never judging a book by its cover.
"You have a character in Gaston who uses his charm offensive to whip other people into a frenzy to go and attack somebody they never met. Somebody that's different. Somebody that represents a danger because [Gaston] says that he represents a danger.
"I think that theme is as relevant today as it was when Beauty and the Beast was first written 300 years ago. So that's what I hope people take from it."
"What I would say that this film is one of inclusiveness," he continued. "It's one that has something to offer everyone."
Director Condon has expressed frustration at the 'overblown' reaction to a gay character.
Speaking to ScreenCrush he said: "Oh God. Can I just tell you? It's all been overblown. Because it's just this - it's part of just what we had fun with..." and said he hoped audiences would "not make a big deal about it".Reuse content