US (ABC) — When Disney’s live-action remake of “Beauty and the Beast” premiered in Hollywood Thursday night, it wasn’t Belle or the Beast that had fans talking, but Le Fou.
Played by Josh Gad, many are wondering if Gaston’s sidekick is gay. It would make him Disney’s first openly gay character.
“Is he the first gay Disney character? I’ll leave that for audiences to decide,” Gad told ABC News at the premiere.
“There’s … a lovely moment at the end of the film that I think I’ll let speak for itself,” he added. “Like many of the additions in this movie, I think it’s a beautiful, subtle moment that does its job and is left alone.”
Director Bill Condon confirmed in the April issue of Attitude, a British magazine, that Le Fou is gay.
“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” Condon said.
“He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings,” the director continued. “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.”
Still, producer Todd Lieberman cautioned movie watchers not to expect a coming-out party for Gaston’s sidekick.
“I think when people see the movie, they’re going to realize what people are talking about … is way more subtle than anyone expects from reading an article,” he told ABC News. “I would encourage people to see the movie and judge for themselves whether it’s as groundbreaking as one might expect or might think.”
Either way, composer Alan Menken says the live-action movie’s depiction of Le Fou works.
“Le Fou was always Le Fou. That’s all I can say,” he said. “I totally buy it, of course, and it makes perfect sense. But it’s up to people to interpret however they’re going to interpret.”
Disney is the parent company of ABC News.