The National Council of Churches Singapore (NCCS) urges pastors and church leaders to alert members of their congregation about the homosexual content in the Disney's remake of Beauty and the Beast as NCCS see it as an attempt to influence young children and socialise them at an early age into thinking that the homosexual lifestyle is normal.
Disney has always been associated with wholesome values for years. In recent years, Disney has increased racial and ethnic diversity in the characters in its stories as well as recasting its female characters by presenting them as protagonists.
However, NCCS pointed that Walt Disney's new live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast portrays the character, LeFou, as gay.
Bill Condon, the director of the movie and an openly gay man, created this sub-plot. In an interview with a British gay magazine, Attitude, Condon offers this description of LeFou, "LeFou is somebody who one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston. He's confused about what he wants. It's somebody who's just realising that he has these feelings."
"And Josh (i.e., Josh Gad, who plays the character) makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that's what has its payoff at the end, and I don't want to give away," he said.
In addition, Condon also describes this plotline as 'a nice, exclusive gay moment in a Disney movie'.
NCCS stressed that the inclusion of the 'gay moment' to the story by way of sub-plot is totally unnecessary and signals a marked departure from the original 1991 Disney classic. The only instance of same-sex relationship in Disney's children's entertainment is on a small screen, in an episode of 'Good Luck Charlie' in which one of Charlie's friends has two mothers.
It then noted that gay activists have applauded Disney for its courage. One of which is Matt Chain, chief editor of Attitude, who describes the plotline as 'a watershed moment for Disney', adding that it is 'a step in the right direction'.
He also applauds Disney for being brave enough to make it and in dong so hopefully having change attitudes and bring about real social progress.
NCCS stated that some Christian leaders in the country are deeply concerned about the (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgender) LGBT representation in this new Disney movie.
It noted that studies have shown that watching LGBT characters in popular entertainment may not only result in greater acceptance of these groups but also the lifestyles they have adopted.
It also said that Edward Shiappa, a professor of media studies at Massachusets Institute of Technology, has said, "There is no doubt that kids seeing the positively gay characters could have the significant effect that would contribute to such children's learning about the world and who is in it."
NCCS said that parents urged to exercise discretion in guiding young children concerning viewing this movie.
It also encourages parents to be attentive to the entertainment choices of their children and engage and meaningful conversation with them as they seek to make sense of the world in which they live.
"Above all, NCCS would like to encourage parents to help their children to be rooted in the teachings of the Bible and the Church and to develop a biblical worldview that would enable them to respond to our rapidly changing culture," the Council said.