SINGAPORE: The inclusion of a “gay moment” in Disney’s live-action remake of the Beauty and the Beast animation is “totally unnecessary” and “signals a marked departure from the original 1991 classic”, the National Council of Churches (NCCS) said on Tuesday (Mar 14).
Ahead of the film’s opening in Singapore cinemas on Thursday, NCCS issued a letter to pastors and church leaders, referencing a character named LeFou, sidekick to main villain in the movie, Gaston. NCCS noted this is the first time an explicitly gay character is introduced in a Disney big-screen production.
“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 council urged pastors and church leaders to alert members of their congregations – especially parents – to exercise discretion in guiding young children to view this movie.
“We would like our parents to be aware of this strand in the movie and its possible influence on their children who watch it, however subtle,” NCCS added.
In a separate statement, the Roman Catholic Church of Singapore said parents “must discern and reflect with their children on whether the lifestyle is consonant with the teaching of Christ”. “They must explain the implications and the consequences of such a lifestyle for themselves and society,” said a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore.
The film, starring Emma Watson as the titular Beauty, has been passed clean by Singapore censors, but was given a PG rating for “some intense sequences” depicting moderate violence.