Beauty and the Beast to feature Disney's first gay character

Beauty and the Beast to feature Disney's first gay character

'Beauty and the Beast' includes the first openly gay character in Disney history.

Josh Gad plays the role of LeFou in the live-action remake of the 1991 animated classic, and it has now been revealed that a subplot alteration has allowed the character - who is the bumbling side-kick of antagonist Gaston, played by Luke Evans - to become Disney's first ever LGBTQ character.

Director Bill Condon told the April issue of Attitude magazine: "LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston. He's confused about what he wants. It's somebody who's just realising that he has these feelings. And Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that's what has its payoff at the end, which I don't want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie."

Josh, 36, took to Twitter shortly after the news was announced on Wednesday (01.03.17) to reply to a fan who had asked him to confirm the news.

Quoting the tweet which included a link to an article, Josh simply said: "Beyond proud of this."

Meanwhile, Dan Stevens - who stars as the titular Beast - has revealed why he believes his on-screen character and Belle, played by Emma Watson, are both well liked by the LGBTQ community.

He shared: "It's about that sense of persecution. Belle is seen as a bit of a freak within her community, this girl who reads and invents things and is a bit too clever for the local Establishment. And Beast is obviously persecuted because of his appearance."

And Emma revealed she was keen to "develop" why Belle feels like she doesn't fit in.

She said: "I think it was really important actually for Dan and I to develop and understand why each of our characters feel like they don't fit in.

"I certainly felt watching the original that I wanted to know more about why Belle feels that she's different and why she wants to be different and why she's naturally different."