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Beauty And The Beast Will Feature Disney's First Openly Gay Character

The upcoming Beauty and the Beast live-action remake will be a huge step for Disney.

In an interview with Attitude, director Bill Condon revealed that the movie will feature Disney's first ever openly gay character in Josh Gad's LeFou. LeFou, Gaston's best friend and one of the film's villains, will get a "significant subplot" in the movie surrounding his sexuality.

"LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston," said Condon. "He's confused about what he wants. It's somebody who's just realizing that he has these feelings. And Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that's what has its payoff at the end, which I don't want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie."

Gad, who can be seen singing alongside Luke Evans' Gaston in a recently released clip, Tweeted that he was "beyond proud" of the chance to play the studio's first openly gay character. According to Condon, the inspiration for the character's sexuality came from Howard Ashman, who wrote the lyrics for the cartoon but passed away before it was released. Condon said that Ashman saw the Beast's situation as a "metaphor for AIDS."

"He was cursed, and this curse had brought sorrow on all those people who loved him, and maybe there was a chance for a miracle and a way for the curse to be lifted," he said. "It was a very, very concrete thing that he was doing."

Set to be released on March 17, Beauty and the Beast stars Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as The Beast, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, and Kevin Kline as Maurice. Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor, Audra McDonald, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw also appear. You can watch the full trailer here, but first, see the creepy stories behind your favorite Disney princesses.