Beauty and the Beast director Bill Condon has spoken out about the controversy surrounding the Disney film's inclusion of an "exclusively gay moment."
In an interview with ScreenCrush Friday, the director said the public's reaction to character LeFou's (played by Josh Gad) questioning of his sexuality was stronger than he had anticipated.
"Oh, God. Can I just tell you? It's all been overblown. Because it’s just this — it’s part of just what we had fun with," Condon told the outlet. "I love the way it plays pure when people don’t know and it comes as a nice surprise."
He added that he hopes audiences don't "make a big deal of it. Why is it a big deal?"
Condon previously told Attitude magazine that 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."
He commended Gad for making "something really subtle and delicious out of it. ... It is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie."
On Saturday, BBC News reported that Russia was considering banning the live-action adaptation for violating a law prohibiting gay propaganda directed toward minors. Earlier in the week, a drive-in theater in Alabama refused to screen the film because of Gad's portrayal of a gay character.