Josh Gad has addressed his controversial role in Beauty And The Beast.
The live-action Disney remake made headlines around the world when it hit cinemas in 2017, not because of the impressive visual effects or new music, but because of a small moment which confirmed that Gaston’s henchman LeFou is gay.
In the movie’s final scenes, the character (played by Josh Gad) can be seen dancing with another man. It’s only a few seconds, but it was enough to get the movie banned or given an adult-only rating in several countries.
Two years on, Josh was questioned about the moment during an interview with Andy Cohen on SiriusXM, where he affirmed that he is “so proud” of the moment and still doesn’t understand why it was such a big deal.
“Here’s what we decided, we decided that LeFou’s happy ending would be to dance with another man, [and] that became such a controversial thing apparently, even though it was three seconds of screen time.
“We never put a spotlight on it, we never meant to put a spotlight on it. I think the director Bill Condon was very proud of the moment and he made some comments about being very proud of it.
“[But] the movie speaks for itself, and that moment speaks for itself.”
Asked how the idea of LeFou being gay came about, Josh confirmed: “It was my pitch, that’s how I really wanted the movie to end, and I was so amazed they let us do it.
“But again we never meant to shine a spotlight on it, we wanted the audience to just see it and take away from it what they would, and then it became this conflated, weird controversy when people realised what it was.”
Despite the unnecessary controversy and backlash from some viewers, Josh explained that he is “so proud” of the decision and that he hopes Disney continue to include LGBTQ characters in their movies.
“I was so proud of it, and I was so proud of the response, because in light of the fact that there were so many people [complaining], there were so many people who stood up and applauded that moment and were so excited about it,” he continued.
“I think there’s still a lot more work to be done in terms of equal representation, and I really hope Disney keeps finding more ways to do that.”