A drive-in theater in Alabama will not be screening the live-action remake of "Beauty and the Beast" because its Christian owners objected to the Disney film's inclusion of an overtly gay character.
The movie's director, Bill Condon, recently spoke to Attitude magazine about the "exclusively gay moment" between the characters Gaston and LeFou.
"LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and an another day wants to kiss Gaston," Condon explained. "He's confused about what he wants. It's somebody who's just realizing that he has these feelings," he added.
On Thursday, the Henagar Drive-In Theatre in DeKalb County announced on its Facebook page that it will not be screening the Disney film, The Christian Post reported.
"When companies continually force their views on us we need to take a stand. We all make choices and I am making mine," the owners wrote on the theater's Facebook page, which is now inaccessible.
The owners acknowledged that there may be some who will disagree with the decision, but they emphasized that they will not compromise on the teachings of the Bible.
"We will continue to show family oriented films so you can feel free to come watch wholesome movies without worrying about sex, nudity, homosexuality and foul language," the owners added.
In an interview with ScreenCrush on Friday, Condon said that the reaction to the supposedly gay character has been "overblown."
The report from ScreenCrush noted that LeFou's sexuality was never directly addressed, but there are a few lines of dialogue that seem to allude to his crush on Gaston.
Meanwhile, leading evangelist Franklin Graham called on Christian parents to boycott the film, saying it is pushing the "LGBT agenda."
The evangelist claimed that he and his father met with Walt Disney when he was a child and noted that the late animator was gracious to them. He asserted that Disney himself would be "shocked" at what has happened to his company.
Russia is reportedly considering a ban on the film because it violates a law against gay propaganda directed towards minors.
The movie, starring Emma Watson as Belle, will roll out in theaters worldwide beginning on March 16. Box office analysts expect the film to earn $100 million in North America on its opening weekend.