The bit of news that Josh Gad's take on LeFou was totally gay has ruffled a few feathers... mine included, but not the way everyone expects...
I ALREADY THOUGHT THE 1991 Version was gay! (In my last two viewings of the 1991 animated feature in 1998 and 2008... 1992-1997 I watched the movie way too much.)
The thing is that the 1991 version was SUBTLER than the 2017 version. One might say that LeFou simply "Hero-Worships" Gaston, but the amount of abuse that LeFou takes FROM Gaston screams another thing: LeFou has a MASSIVE CRUSH ON Gaston and is on the "blinded by infatuation" stage of it. Staying in the snow that long for "your hero" and all the beatings... Not to mention how observant LeFou is of Gaston's physique... IT PRETTY MUCH HAS ALL THE SIGNS RIGHT THERE... that LeFou is...
It made sense that LeFou was gay...
First: It's the Comedic Sidekick. character whose name translates to "The Madman" (as in crazy) and sounds like Mr. T speaking French... "I pity Le Foo'!" (I hope you read that in a Mr. T Voice) and in case of backlash it could be countered with: "He's a Fool and a bit crazy! It's on his name and everything. See! he dropped the eggs! What a fool!" and dismiss it. Thing is LeFou is NOT a Fool, or an idiot. He's just clumsy. He drops a few smartass remarks (that end up getting him in trouble with the G-Man) He's shown to be a decent manipulator. (riling up the mob and getting Belle's father to spill the beans on the Beast, getting the whole tavern to praise his unrequited love.)
Second: While the 90s weren't AS accepting of Homosexuality as the current year... The 80s you had a Mutant who wasn't a mutant but a "Fairy"... and he officially came out in 1992 (a bit after Beauty and the Beast, but the token gay character had been around since 1979..) The 90s were still on the 80s tokenism where characters were added to shows/comics/etc. in "false diverse representation." Which is shoving Tokens to fill up a Social Justice Checklist, instead of doing it in a more organic manner.
Third: Well technically a sub point of point one, but I need to add more filler than a Naruto Episode. I mentioned that LeFou is Gaston's Sidekick. Notice that he's not a top tier character. Hero, damsel, or Villain, which we all know are Belle, Beast and Gaston in that order. (Yes I'm out Anitaing Anita) He's a mid-tier Secondary antagonist... I'd place him as high nuisance, but not full-on villain. Notice that the "gay character" is a mid-tier that can be pushed into minor IF the acceptance isn't there.
The fact that people are discussing IF the 1991 version WAS GAY means that it was done super subtle, but with plenty of hints for people to figure it out...
Now going AS IN YOUR FACE as a Hideo Kojima anti-nuke message on a Metal Gear game is a bad choice.
Seriously, look at that clip... Ignore the Helium voiced Gaston... (As a Chihuahua specimen, I find him intimidating) but look at LeFou... Olaf the Snowman is making Hideo Kojima seem subtle. All that Gad was missing was the infamous Gay Lisp.
All this Advertisement about LeFou being Gay seems to me like Tokenism is still alive.
LOOK AT THE GAY MAN!! HE IS TOTALLY GAY!! HE LIKES THE PENIS!!
Why didn't they simply keep quiet about it and once the movie came out we could have had all the IS HE? IS HE NOT? theories and generate more buzz about it. Seriously, they removed the blonde out of the Bimbettes (Maybe I involuntarily absorbed the blonde out of them?) They made Gaston an intimidating version of Michael Cera... Now they're playing SocJus Bingo by making LeFou Super gay!!! The fact that LeFou is gay doesn't bother me... It's the whole SocJus Bingo vibe it's giving.
Also, now I have another excuse to use one of Legolambs' songs