Alabama theater won't screen 'Beauty and the Beast' because of so-called "gay moment"

Source: Disney
Source: Disney

Be our guest. As long as you're straight. 

Henagar Drive-In Theatre in Henagar, Alabama, announced on its Facebook page it will not be screening the upcoming live-action Beauty and the Beast adaptation because it features an out gay character. 

Since Thursday's announcement, not only has the post been taken down, the entire Facebook page has gone missing. 

Thankfully, unlike the curse put on the titular Beast, screenshots are eternal.  

"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," the post, ostensibly written by the business' new owner, reads. "If I can't sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me then we have no business showing it." 

Henagar Drive-In Theatre's post about 'Beauty and the Beast'
Source: 
WHNT/Facebook

"We are first and foremost Christians," the post continued. "We will not compromise on what the Bible teacher. We will continue to show family-oriented films so you can feel free to come watch wholesome movies without worry about sex, nudity, homosexuality and foul language. Thank you for your support!" 

Disney announced that LeFou, sidekick to antagonist Gaston, will be an out gay character in this adaptation, which will feature an "exclusively gay moment." 

The theater did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

"This by no means is sending a message of hatred or bigotry," owner Carol Laney told WHNT. "However, we are Christians first and foremost and must admit to our Bible and Christianity." Laney said she thought hard about her decision, but that her faith came first. 

"We respect the choice of others who choose to respect other movie theaters by watching this move," she said. "However, we hope that you respect our choice not to play it at our drive-in."

WHNT reported a mixed reaction to the announcement on the theater's Facebook page, but the screenshots showed glowing reviews for the theater's Christian message.

"Kudos!" one person wrote. Another wrote, "We must stand against evil if we are followers of Jesus Christ." 

If there is one thing movies like Hidden Figures, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Moonlight have taught America in the past year, it's the power of on-screen representation, especially for youth. Unfortunately, children in Henagar, Alabama, will have to wait a little longer to bear witness to that kind of progress.

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Mathew Rodriguez

Mathew Rodriguez is a Staff Writer at Mic. He is a queer Latino New Yorker who enjoys female rappers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Flannery O'Connor. He is a former editor at TheBody.com and he is working on a memoir.

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