I have three girls, and my three girls own dozens of Disney movies. We were super excited about the live action release of Beauty and the Beast, but we haven’t gone to the theater yet. We may end up going, or we may stay home this time. Honestly, I haven’t decided.
I’m not surprised Disney decided to insert a gay character in a children’s movie, nor am I particularly upset. I’m also not surprised Disney decided to ease into this transition, starting with a minor character rather than a hero or heroine. As I’ve thought about Beauty and the Beast, LeFou, and my kids, here are a few things running through my mind:
- I respect those who chose not to see Beauty and the Beast because they are concerned about the normalization of homosexuality in popular media. These folks should not be criticized for their convictions.
- I don’t think anyone should call for Christians to boycott Disney or Beauty and the Beast because they are introducing gay characters in children’s movies. Thankfully, I haven’t heard much of this kind of talk.
- Christians who take their kids to Beauty in the Beast have harder decisions coming. Rest assured, Disney isn’t going to slow this train. Soon a Disney hero or heroine will be openly gay, not just a peripheral character.
- Yes, Christians are called to be “in” the world, but that does not mean we have to participate in everything the world offers in the name of cultural engagement. Missing a movie or a TV show won’t kill you.
- By all accounts and reviews, LeFou’s same sex attraction is not “in your face.” Many kids will miss the sexual innuendo, but exposure to innuendo will impact the way your kids think about homosexuality.
- I don’t know many children’s movies that don’t present half truths or untruths. Those who draw the line with Beauty and the Beast need to be aware that older Disney movies also teach un-Christian values.
- Kids are smart. They don’t miss as much as we’d like to think. If you’re going to take your kids to movies like Beauty and the Beast, make sure you are intentional about teaching biblical sexuality at home.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this issue!
Originally published March 19, 2017 on landoncoleman.com.