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Josh Gad says Beauty and the Beast's LeFou didn't do justice to 'what a real gay character' should be

Josh Gad opened up about what he now thinks about LeFou having Disney's first "explicitly gay" moment. 

By Vanessa Armstrong
Josh Gad Getty

In 2017, live-action Beauty and the Beast director Bill Condon and actor Josh Gad praised Gad’s portrayal of LeFou — Gaston’s trusty sidekick — as Disney’s first openly gay character. When the movie came out, however, LeFou being "openly gay" simply meant that there was a brief shot of him dancing with a man in one of the feature’s final scenes. 

This weekend, Gad acknowledged that LeFou’s depiction on-screen wasn’t enough to earn them credit for portraying Disney’s first openly gay character. 

“We didn’t go far enough to warrant accolades,” Gad said to The Independent (via Variety). “We didn’t go far enough to say, ‘Look how brave we are.’ My regret in what happened is that it became ‘Disney’s first explicitly gay moment’ and it was never intended to be that. It was never intended to be a moment that we should laud ourselves for, because frankly, I don’t think we did justice to what a real gay character in a Disney film should be.”

The moment is one that Gad now looks back to with regret. “That was not LeFou,” he added. “If we’re going to pat ourselves on the back, then damn it we should have gone further with that. Everybody deserves an opportunity to see themselves on screen, and I don’t think we’ve done enough — and I certainly haven’t done enough to do that.”

Gad’s statement comes a couple of weeks after news broke that Disney+'s LeFou and Gaston musical prequel series was put indefinitely on hold due to scheduling and creative conflicts. There’s no news as to whether Gad’s portrayal of the younger LeFou would have met Gad’s expectations as to what “a real gay character in a Disney film” would be. If the series gets back on track, however, we’ll hopefully be able to see a LeFou that makes Gad proud.