It’s announced that Disney’s new live-action version of the classic musical Beauty and the Beast will feature a gay character…and social media explodes in response.

According to reports Wednesday, LeFou — the squat, plump fellow you may recall as antagonist Gaston’s buddy in the 1991 cartoon — will come out of the closet in the 2-hour and 9-minute remake set for release on March 17.

In an interview with Attitude magazine, the film’s director, Bill Condon, talked about LeFou’s complicated feelings for his ripped bestie, stating: “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.”

Condon adds that actor Josh Gad “makes something really subtle and delicious out of it,” and that fans can expect to see “a nice, exclusively gay moment.”

(Meantime, those hopeful that candle Lumiere and clock Cogsworth would eventually hook up will just have to live with the disappointment).

Reaction, as it tend to be on the internet, has been all over the map — with hundreds of Twitter users making their decidedly mixed opinions on the issue known in 140 characters or less.

While nothing such as this was hinted at, exactly, in the sweet story we remember from our childhood — it’s fair to note that the cartoon LeFou did seem fairly enamored with his friend. Recall the lyrics in which LeFou refers to Gaston’s thick neck, chin cleft and biceps, describing him as: “Perfect, a pure paragon!”

While more details could be forthcoming, previews seem to reveal the central romance will remain intact. Main character, Belle — portrayed this time by actress Emma Watson — will still be straight.


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