Outspoken evangelist Franklin Graham has called for a boycott of Disney over the company’s inclusion of a gay character in the upcoming Beauty and the Beast remake.
“They’re trying to push the LGBT agenda into the hearts and minds of your children—watch out!” Graham wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday. “Disney has the right to make their cartoons, it’s a free country. But as Christians we also have the right not to support their company. I hope Christians everywhere will say no to Disney.”
Graham’s Facebook post has been shared nearly 90 thousand times at this time of writing.
Earlier this week, Beauty and the Beast director Bill Condon told Attitude that one of the film’s characters, LeFou, who is played by Josh Gad, will have an “exclusively gay moment” on-screen with villain Gaston (Luke Evans). While Gad told USA Today during the film’s Hollywood premiere that this moment wasn’t in the script, he added that it was important for him to expand on the original character, “giving him more dimension, making him human.”
Reactions to this have mostly been positive, with observers praising Disney’s push for inclusivity. But others, in addition to Graham, are not happy with the news. On Friday, an Alabama movie theater announced its refusal to screen Beauty and the Beast when it releases on March 17.
“If I can’t sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me then we have no business showing it,” a staff member of the theater wrote on Facebook.