When you think of the beloved classic “Beauty and the Beast,” the first thought you have probably isn’t that it is inappropriate to show.
However, one Alabama drive-in theater is refusing to show the new rendition of the classic Disney film to the public, simply based on the fact that a minor character, LeFou, is portrayed as a gay man.
Out of all the troubling themes included in “Beauty and the Beast,” the Christian-operated theater chose to focus on this one detail as a reason not to show it.
It appears that the owner of the theater is fine with the Stockholm Syndrome at play. They’re fine with the fact that Belle is locked in a castle, unable to escape. They’re fine with a human falling in love with an animal — a beast, at that. While one may argue that he ultimately turns into a human, calling it a simple metaphor for not judging people based on their looks, it’s still a little strange.
By refusing to show the movie based on personal beliefs, the owner’s decision leads to one question: Should movie theaters — chain or locally-owned — be allowed to pick and choose the movies they show based on a character or the theme of a movie? It’s understandable for a theater owner to want to pick the movies that will be the most profitable, but deciding not to show a family-oriented PG film based on the sexuality of a minor character is quite ridiculous.
It is 2017, and gay marriage is legal in all 50 states. Therefore, having a gay character in a film should not be grounds to dictate whether you show it.
The Alabama theater and several others say they are protecting children, arguing that the movie would take away a child’s innocence. How is “Beauty and the Beast” taking the innocence away from a child? A child is not going to see that movie and know, just by context, that Lefou is gay. You can’t look at someone and immediately know they are gay.
If anything, people should be worried about children seeing Stockholm Syndrome being played out on the big screen as if it’s no big deal. Or the fact that Belle falls in love with a beast who, at the time of falling in love, is not a human.
Movie theaters are open to the public, therefore they should show movies the general public wants to see. Theater owners should not be allowed to let their personal beliefs interfere with the films shown in the theater. Theaters provide a service to the public. If they don’t want to show a film to their own family, that’s fine. But a theater is there to entertain the public, therefore, theater owners should show what the public wants to see.
OUR POSITION: The staff is in agreement that movie theater owners should not ban movies from their theaters based on personal beliefs. They should choose movies the public wants to see.
The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors in the opinion section do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the entire The Franklin staff. Opinion editor Christina Ramey moderates the board and its members, including Brittney Corum, Adrianna Pitrelli, Matt Thomas and Ashley Steeb. Leigh Durphey, the executive editor, sits on the board. If you have an issue you would like the board to cover, email firstname.lastname@example.org.