LeFou, who is played by Josh Gad in the film, is set to become Disney’s first openly gay character when the movie opens on March 17.
After director Bill Condon confirmed to Attitude that the film will feature Disney’s first “exclusively gay moment”, the owner of the Henagar Drive-In Theater in Northeast Alabama posted a statement to their Facebook page on Thursday regarding the decision.
The theatre owner – who is not named – says the inclusion of the gay character will “compromise on what the Bible teaches,” adding, “If we can not take our 11-year-old granddaughter and 8-year-old grandson to see a movie we have no business watching it. If I can’t sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me then we have no business showing it.”
“We are first and foremost Christians. We will not compromise on what the Bible teaches,” the post continues. The Alabama theatre owner only wants to show “wholesome movies without sex, nudity, homosexuality or foul language.”
Predictably, the comments came rushing in, with the majority opposing the owner’s anti-gay stance, citing Christianity values inclusivity and the old adage of “love thy neighbour”.
Disney has not commented on the theatre’s decision to remove Beauty And The Beast from their schedule.
The studio’s most recent live-action adaptation, The Jungle Book, grossed over $364 million at the box office, while 2015’s live-action Cinderella banked over $201 million.