The inclusion of a “gay moment” in Disney’s new live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast is “totally unnecessary”, which “signals a marked departure from the original 1991 Disney classic”, said the National Council of Churches Singapore (NCCS) on Tuesday (14 March).
The stance of NCCS, stated in a letter with the header “The Gay Agenda in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” addressed to pastors and church leaders, comes ahead of the film’s opening in Singapore cinemas on Thursday. The PG-rated film portrays the manservant, LeFou, as a gay character who had a “gay moment” with the villain, Gaston.
The council noted that this was the first time that Disney has introduced an explicitly gay character in a big screen production, and that gay activists have applauded the media conglomerate for its courage.
“Some Christian leaders here are deeply concerned about the LGBT representation in this new Disney movie. They see this as an attempt to influence young children and socialise them at an early age into thinking that the homosexual lifestyle is normal,” NCCS said.
The NCCS urged pastors and church leaders to warn members of their congregation, especially parents, to be aware of the movie’s “possible influence on their children who watch it, however subtle.”
“Studies have shown that watching LGBT characters in popular entertainment may not only result in greater acceptance of these groups, but also the lifestyles they have adopted,” NCCS added.
Earlier Tuesday, the Catholic Church issued a statement asking parents to be discerning and to reflect with their children whether the lifestyle portrayed in the film is “consonant with the teaching of Christ”.
On Sunday, Bishop Rennis Ponniah, the head of the Anglican church in Singapore, posted a statement urging the faithful to be mindful of the movie’s homosexual content.