The Controversial Gay Character

The Controversial Gay Character

What is more offensive bestiality or a gay character? The world’s reaction to Disney’s new movie Beauty and the Beast may be able to answer that question.

The controversy is a scene in the movie where the supporting character LeFou, is depicted as having a romantic fascination for Gaston and is shown dancing with another man in a ballroom. This scene is three seconds long. The movie’s director, Bill Condon, stated that LeFou, has “a nice, exclusively gay moment.”

As of March 23, the movie has earned over $350 million world wide, but it has also been banned in the US and abroad. A drive-in movie theater in rural Henagar, Alabama said that it would not show the movie because it has a gay character. “We will not compromise on what the Bible teaches,” the drive-in said in a Facebook post. Henagar has a population of 2,344 and Disney did not respond when asked if the film was set to show at this particular theater.

In Kuwait, the nation’s government-owned cinema company, which runs 11 out of the 13 theaters in the Persian Gulf country, announced that all screenings had been canceled and offered a full refund to anyone who had purchased a ticket.

One board member of the National Cinema Co. told the Associated Press, “We were requested to stop the screening and further censor the movie for things that were deemed offensive by the Ministry of Information’s censorship department.”

The treatment of gays and lesbians in the Middle East is mixed. In Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, homosexuality is criminalized and can lead to fines, lashings and imprisonment. In Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Yemen, it can also lead to the death penalty. But in Jordan, Bahrain and Iraq, homosexuality is not illegal.

Kuwait’s ban comes after censors in Malaysia tried to edit out the controversial scenes. Disney refused to edit and was not going to release the film there but then Malaysian authorities decided to allow the film to be released in its entirety.

The movie has also stirred controversy in Russia. Vitaly Milonov, a lawmaker, tried to get the film banned. But it was allowed to be screened uncensored, accompanied by a warning that it was not suitable for children younger than 16.

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The Mysterious “Will & Grace” Reunion

Just over ten years ago, the groundbreaking TV series Will & Grace ended.  However, last weekend, the cast shared a number of social media posts hinting at a reunion.  Debra Messing, Megan Mullally and Eric McCormack actually shared a teaser trailer.

View the teaser here.

Then on Tuesday, the following reunion video was released. Watch it here.

Tell us what you think by leaving a comment. Was the end result worth all the hype?

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Summer camp frequently promises outdoor adventures, new friends and possible summer romance.  But in the new TV show, Dead of Summer, which premiered on the Freeform network in June, a summer of fun turns into a summer of horror.

Dead of Summer joins shows like Orange is the New Black, Transparent and I Am Cait, in featuring a transgender character. The big difference is that Dead of Summer is set in 1989.

Zelda Williams, Robin Williams daughter, plays Drew, a quiet but cool guy counselor who also happens to be a transgender man. It is very important to Zelda to accurately portray a transgender man, because as Zelda points out, transgender men are not reflected as frequently in Hollywood as transgender women. “The thing I’m most terrified about is the transgender community being insulted by him,” Zelda told Entertainment Weekly. “It’s great that [the public] will get to learn about a male-identifying transgender character as a lead in an ensemble show, but really, more than anything, he is for the transgender community, because they don’t ever get to see him.… I hope that they’re happy with him, because I’m proud of him…. I’m really excited for people to see who he is.”

Zelda did research for her role with transgender men in order to get an accurate portrayal. She told Entertainment Weekly that “The transgender community deserves an honest portrayal, I can’t choose if they like his plot because I didn’t write it, but I can choose if they think that he’s not a stereotype, at least in how I hold myself, and that’s all I can do.”

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The Evolution of Star Trek

The Evolution of Star Trek

Actor John Cho of Star Trek Beyond announced to the Herald Sun that his character, Hikaru Sulu, will identify as a gay man and have a daughter with his partner. The impetus was to honor the original actor of Sulu, LGBT activist George Takei. However, Takei is not happy with this idea. He feels that Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and long time fans will not accept the change. “I’m delighted that there’s a gay character,” Takei says. “Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene’s creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate.”

Sulu’s daughter emerged in the 1995 Star Trek novel The Captain’s Daughter. The novel states that Sulu has a daughter with a “stunningly gorgeous woman.” Takei feels that this change is a poor way to honor Roddenberry, who was a strong supporter of LGBTQ equality. Takei also states that Roddenberry always envisioned Sulu as straight and changing his vision now is a poor way to honor him as the 50th anniversary of Star Trek approaches.

On the flip side, actor Zachary Quinto, also a member of the LGBTQ community is “disappointed” by Takei’s reaction. Quinto understands that Takei has a personal relationship with the character Sulu, but he points out that “we established in the first Star Trek film in 2009, we’ve created an alternate universe”. Quinto hopes that Takei can see the other side, which is “the enormously positive response from especially young people, who are heartened by and inspired by this really tasteful and beautiful portrayal of something that I think is gaining acceptance and inclusion in our societies across the world — and should be.”

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