Alabama cinema bosses boycott Beauty & the Beast over gay character

Bosses at an Alabama cinema have opted not to screen Disney's new Beauty & The Beast movie because Josh Gad's character is gay.

The owners of the Henagar Drive-In Theater have taken exception to director Bill Condon's big reveal that his LeFou in the new film is Disney's first-ever LGBTQ character.

A statement on the cinema's Facebook page reads: "When companies continually force their views on us we need to take a stand. We all make choices and I am making mine.

"If we can not take our 11 year old grand daughter and 8 year old grandson to see a movie we have no business watching it. If I can't sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me then we have no business showing it."

The owners accept there will be film fans who "do not agree with this decision", adding, "That's fine. We are first and foremost Christians. We will not compromise on what the Bible teaches. 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."

Condon confirmed all about LeFou's sexuality during an interview with gay magazine Attitude, stating, "LeFou is somebody who on 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 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."

The film, which also features Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Kevin Kline, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen, Ewan McGregor, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, hits theaters on 17 March (17).