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Josh Gad Says Beauty and the Beast’s ‘Groundbreaking’ Gay Character Fell Short

Josh Gad Says Beauty and the Beast’s ‘Groundbreaking’ Gay Character Fell Short

Josh Gad and Luke Evans in 'Beauty and the Beast'
Courtesy of Disney

"We didn't go far enough to warrant accolades. We didn't go far enough to say, 'Look how brave we are.'"

Back in 2017, in the lead up to the release of Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast film, queer fans of the studio's work were anticipating a moment they had long been waiting for: a groundbreaking gay character. Director Bill Condon had teased an "exclusively" gay moment for the character LeFou, so expectations were high. However, what fans got instead was a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment where Josh Gad as LeFou dances with a man.

In an interview over the weekend, Gad readily admitted that the film and the character fell short in its LGBTQ+ representation.

"We didn't go far enough to warrant accolades," Gad told The Independent. "We didn't go far enough to say, 'Look how brave we are.' My regret in what happened is that it became 'Disney's first explicitly gay moment' and it was never intended to be that. 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."

Josh Gad dances with male costar in 'Beauty and the Beast'

Previously, Condon himself had walked back his "exclusively gay moment" remakers explaining that he hadn't wanted to make a big deal about the moment and that it had been "overblown."

Gad still regrets that the film didn't go far enough with the representation that its queer audience deserved. "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," he said.

For those hoping that this might change in the previously announced prequel series starring Gad and Luke Evans, who would reprise their roles as LeFou and Gaston, respectively, that is sadly not meant to be either. Disney axed the series earlier this month due to delays and scheduling conflicts.

"We tried to make it all work but under the gun, it wasn't meant to be... for now," Gad tweeted. "These characters and this story will live on, but sometimes the best intentions & reality collide & nothing can be done."

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