Beautiful and Beastly Reactions
The much-discussed “Beauty and the Beast” movie debut is upon us. Just before news broke about the new film rendition containing a “gay moment,” I said that I was not much looking forward to the new film because Angela Lansbury was not going to be singing the main theme song.
Therefore, I was not ever excited or never had expectations about this movie, so that may be why I did not feel as disappointed as many. That is not to say I don’t have an opinion on the matter. But I did not experience extreme emotions related to the news. Borrowing from descriptions used by a fellow blogger, I have noticed several strong reactions to the “gay moment” controversy that can be described as follows.
For socially-liberal people, Disney’s adapting the plot to include a character (“LeFou”) who reportedly feels same-sex attraction to another character (“Gaston”) is only a good start. These folks would have wanted Disney to go even farther, pushing the boundaries. The actor in question, Josh Gad, seems to be beaming with pride at his moment in the sun. Nearly every person you hear celebrating this news was already on board with the sexual revolution, so we ought not to be shocked, even if we’re saddened at how misguided this perspective is.
Many people being critical of Disney or the film’s director are simply concerned parents, who were hoping they would have a family-safe movie to enjoy. It must be said, though, that some people went too far too fast, for not having yet seen the movie. Social media sometimes invites us to be uncharitable in our words, talking past one another. It was less than 24 hours before a “Boycott Beauty and the Beast” movement was formed, after news of the reportedly gay moment. We do not know if all or some of the criticism is deserved, but we do know the movie has been tainted for many before its release.
“Well, I already had bought my ticket, so I’m still going;” or “I grew up watching ‘Beauty and the Beast’ nonstop. It’s my movie.” These are phrases we hear from people who, yes, they’re grieved at the thought of a gay moment in this movie. But they are so committed or emotionally attached to the plot, they’re going to see the movie anyway. When I say these people are conceding, I do not mean they have compromised their moral fiber. I mean they are desperately hoping to find a middle ground, where they oppose that one facet of the movie, while still getting to enjoy the rest. Maybe the “gay moment” is not all we’re told, they say. Time will tell if these fans of the tale as old as time are right or not.
You know these people. You might even be one. The commenters are the people that cannot resist chiming in on any and every issue that arises. From serious issues like abortion to frivolous issues like food, social media abounds with people who have strong opinions. News about a “gay moment” in “Beauty and the Beast” provided a field day for these folks. They typically fall into one of the aforementioned camps, but they find opportunities to comment on any and all of the perspectives.
These people, with whom I’d most associate, wish this Disney “gay moment” would not have ever come about. They may not join the boycott per se, but they may not see the movie either. Or at the very least, they may decide to screen the movie for themselves before allowing any youngsters to see it. This group of folks tends to withhold judgment until the full picture can be seen, but will view it with an even more skeptical eye now. They remain concerned about the rising tide of the sexual revolution, all while understanding that we live in a fallen world that needs Christ, the Redeemer.
It has been said that what most reveals our character is how we react. If that’s true, then the “Beauty and the Beast” moment has reminded us that, as a society—especially we on the Internet world—we have far to go before we’re transformed from something beastly to something beautiful.