Beauty and the Beast stars Emma Watson and Ewan McGregor has reacted to the backlash over the gay character in the film.
It was revealed during the promotional tour there would be a ‘gay moment’ featuring Gaston’s manservant LeFou. It shows the character, played by Josh Gad, expressing his feelings for Gaston through song while also dancing with a man at the end of the film.
The film’s ‘gay moment’ has attracted international attention with Russia banning children from seeing it, after it toyed with idea of banning the film altogether. Malaysia has also banned Beauty and the Beast.
Watson, who plays Belle in the Disney live-action version of the classic cartoon, spoke to Entertainment Weekly to insist anything gay in the film is ‘subtle’.
‘I think that what’s so fantastic about Josh’s performance is that it’s so subtle. It’s always like, does he idolize Gaston? Is he in love with Gaston? What’s the relationship there? And I think it’s incredibly subtle, to be perfectly honest,’ she said.
‘I don’t want people going into this movie thinking that there’s like a huge narrative there.
‘There really isn’t. It’s incredibly subtle, and it’s kind of a play on having the audience go, “Is it, or is it not?’ I think it’s fun. I love the ambiguity there”.’
However McGregor, who plays the candlestick Lumiere, showed his annoyance surrounding the ‘controversy’.
‘There’s a lot of gay sex in this cartoon,’ he joked to Stephen Colbert. ‘If you live anywhere near Alabama, you should not see this film. What would Jesus think?!’
But when Colbert tried to downplay the scenes, the Trainspotting star was not interested in playing anything down.
McGregor said: ‘He is a gay character. It’s 2017. For fuck’s sake.’