Emma Watson praises gay Beauty and the Beast character

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Emma Watson has opened up about the revelation that a character in the new Beauty and the Beast is gay.

Josh Gad, whose character Le Fou struggles with his sexuality throughout the film, said it was a shame the twist had been revealed, adding: “I hope that it’s a surprise to audiences to some extent.”

Emma Watson praises gay Beauty and the Beast character

The film will include a character exploring his sexual orientation which will end with a “gay moment” says the film’s director, which has been reported as him dancing with another man.

Bill Condon suggested that the character LeFou, Gaston’s manservant, has confusing feelings about the major character.

Watson, who plays Belle in the new Disney live-action version of the classic, opened up about the gay character, Le Fou, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

The Harry Potter star said that the “subtle” portrayal of Le Fou was “fun”, and added extra dimensions to the character.

“I think that what’s so fantastic about Josh’s performance is that it’s so subtle. It’s always like, does he idolise Gaston? Is he in love with Gaston? What’s the relationship there? And I think it’s incredibly subtle, to be perfectly honest.”

She added: “I don’t want people going into this movie thinking that there’s like a huge narrative there.”

“There really isn’t. It’s incredibly subtle, and it’s kind of a play on having the audience go, ‘Is it, or is it not?’ I think it’s fun. I love the ambiguity there.”

Since the revelation by the film’s director, Russian legislators had been considering whether to ban the film, despite the minor character only having brief moment of confusion.

It has since been rated 16+ by Russia, and Malaysia has moved to ban the film.

Earlier this month an Alabama drive-in cinema said it had cancelled plans to screen the film over the gay character.

The company made the announcement on its Facebook page, informing followers that the new ownership had decided “with great sorrow” to not show the film.

“We all make choices and I am making mine,” continued the post on the page belonging to the drive-in, which is owned by Alabama native Lanita Price.

“For those that do not know, Beauty and the Beast is ‘premiering’ their first homosexual character. The producer also says at the end of the movie ‘there will be a surprise for same-sex couples’.”

Apparently, the drive-in’s owners had not previously noticed the clear sexual overtones between Gaston and Le Fou.

The message continues: “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.

“I know there will be some that do not agree with this decision. That’s fine.”