I learned today that the ‘Beast’ in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast isn’t a real animal per se, but rather a combination of creatures with the horns of a buffalo, the arms of a bear, the mane, teeth and jaws of a lion, the tusks of a boar, the legs of a wolf, and, of course, the eyebrows of a gorilla.
Those of you familiar with the fairy tale’s storyline will remember that Belle, trapped by the Beast and forbidden to leave his castle, nevertheless falls in love with the creature. In a textbook example of Stockholm Syndrome, Belle comes to sympathise with and become attracted to her captor – a creature who is, let’s not forget, a repulsive combination of most of the animals on the planet.
In the background to the publicity for the live-action remake starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, there’s a boycott a-rumblin’. And the online mobs aren’t furious about the fact that a human woman is turned on by a buffalo with gorilla eyebrows; they’re furious that, for the first time in Disney’s history, one of the minor characters is presented as gay.
What kind of person boycotts a children’s film because of a homosexual character? We tracked down three of those people and spoke to them.
Ronald Petunia (not his real name):
Please refrain from including my name otherwise I will sue you personally as well as your publication. I'm the father of a three-year-old little girl, a prime candidate for Disney films. I think that explaining homosexuality to a child like mine who is raised in a traditional home with their mother and father further complicates the already challenging topic of human sexuality.
Don’t you think that your child might be more confused by the idea of a woman falling in love with a huge wolf-man with the eyebrows of a gorilla?
Wolf-men do not exist. Homosexuality does. I support the rights of gay people to get married, adopt children and live their lives as they please. Two of my best friends from college are gay, have been married and adopted children and I'm thrilled for them. I want to ensure that my daughter is properly introduced to the topic so that she also has an accepting attitude.
Do you think your daughter might be more likely to have an accepting attitude to gay people if boycotts like this did not happen?
I have not seen the film so I do not know how the character or topic is portrayed. Also, homosexuality and heterosexuality are not equivalent so also not an apples to apples comparison. If Disney chooses to modify a re-boot of an old classic to appease the LBGT-crazed leftist movement in Hollywood by inserting a taboo character they are free to do so but they are at risk alienating a large segment of their audience.
You’re encouraging people not to see a film you haven’t seen – how do you feel about that?
Why are you focused on people who don't want to take their kids to a children's movie with a gay character? Are you sure you aren't gay, Ralph?
Will you find Stockholm Syndrome easier to explain to your daughter than homosexuality?
I'm not planning on discussing homosexuality or Stockholm Syndrome with her any time soon (you clearly don't have children). Frankly, anyone who wants to tell me how I should expose my three-year-old child to a concept like homosexuality has no respect or appreciation for the role of a parent and can go to Hell. There is political motivation on the part of Disney to promote the leftist agenda. Should my daughter's mind be impacted by Disney's political goals?
That link is about Disney’s CEO considering a presidential campaign. You think there’s a gay character in Beauty and the Beast because its CEO wants to be President?
As an inquisitive journalist, which you certainly seem to be, I would think that would be an interesting thing to explore. After all this talk with you I'll have to see this film after all.
Including a homosexual character isn’t really a statement on homosexuality, is it?
Do I need to point out to you that heterosexuality creates life and the regeneration of our species whereas homosexuality cannot? The two are in no way equal and any argument that they are is disregarding a fundamental premise of human existence.
So would you concede that your boycott is due to your thinking of homosexual people as inferior?
People should live their lives in whatever manner makes them happy. However, when someone decides they want to impose their views on sexuality on my child, I have a serious problem with that and will not allow it. As for this movie, I don't know the degree to which it might be inappropriate, and perhaps I jumped the gun by tweeting that I would ‘boycott’ it, but I am rightly suspicious of anyone who goes out of their way to sexualise a children's movie in any way and I encourage you to look into their motivations in doing so. Completely insane are those LBGT lobbyists who tell us we should not be concerned about allowing men who think they are women and dress as women to go with our daughters into bathrooms behind locked doors unsupervised.
Hopefully you understand that transgender bathrooms have nothing to do with Beauty and the Beast. But by all means provide some evidence that children are in danger from the introduction of transgender bathroom policies.
Makes sense that someone like yourself who has no problem with bombarding children with homosexual content also has no issue with children being left alone behind locked doors with sexually confused individuals like transvestites. Perhaps you'll change your mind if you ever have children of your own. Good luck with the article, which will be incomplete and utterly worthless without some exploration into Disney's motivations. I encourage you to be a journalist, not just another leftist hack, Ralph.
Robert Gollwitzer (real name):
I boycott films that are against what I believe in and that I see as harmful to the public. To some this is hypocritical, ridiculous, old-fashioned, selective and much more. To me it is following Christ. If you want to know more about us, check out this page: www.homosexuals-anonymous.com
Do you think Christ would have had a good time watching the original Beauty and the Beast?
Not everyone who objects to same-sex acts in public is a hypocrite that remains quiet when it comes to speaking out against other films that go against his faith. I have been in the gay scene for many years myself. If there is one thing I have learned during that time, then it’s this: there is a door that you cannot shut anymore once you've opened it. And once it is open, things will get through that you haven't even thought about at first.
I have met wonderful people in the gay community. Some are still my friends, many others are dead. I wonder why if it is so natural and beautiful. The thing is: it isn't. I have seen and done pretty much everything you can see and do there and I am not proud of it. To promote this in whatever form is irresponsible and I simply will not do it. Yes, I believe in the concept of traditional Christian marriage as being the best for everyone involved.
Phineas Stroganoff (not his real name):
I feel that the agenda is to normalise being gay, and make it just another standard part of our make-up, when it is actually an aberration. I know it is politically incorrect to say such a thing, but I feel it to be true. Not from a religious or moral point of view, but from a purely biological point of view. Homosexuals serve no purpose in continuing the species, and are therefore not biologically necessary. That is all that is required for the species to survive. Everything else is people wanting to justify their own tastes and deviances.
I believe a big problem with the world today is that nothing is allowed to be simple and wholesome and pure. Everything has to be tainted by the gods of sex and power and money for it to mean anything. How about they show some respect for the author of the story by NOT modifying it to send the message they want the children to see? But that won't happen, because Hollywood is the main temple of the gods of sex and money and power! And I AM going around telling people that they shouldn't watch the movie because a gay character has been added. I am PROUD to be a man who sticks to his principles, even if they aren't currently popular. By the way, I am not a rabid anti-gay crusader, I have a gay nephew who is happily married and I visit him and his partner whenever I am able.
How do you think your nephew would feel if he saw you describing him as “not biologically necessary” and “an aberration”?
My nephew knows exactly how I feel, and (shock, horror) he doesn't have a problem with it. He understands that it is not a personal attack on him, or gay people, but a biological opinion. I have never judged anyone based on their appearance or sexual orientation, I will definitely continue boycotting those that have to be rewritten to accommodate gay characters just because "roughly 10%" of the population would feel more comfortable with it.
These interviews were edited for brevity but those men really did say those things.
Beauty and the Beast is in cinemas from 17 March.