Below is an email I sent my children regarding the new live version of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. I hope it is useful to you as you think through what your heart and mind is exposed to in all your media intake. It might also be helpful for y0u to view this Real Truth Real Quick which talks about people of faith and whether or not it makes sense to participate in boycotts. I am not advocating a boycott of a corporation here, but did ask my kids to consider stepping aside from taking in this particular movie at this particular time for the purpose of communicating a message to a company that markets intentionally to families and children. Watch the Real Truth Real Quick on boycotts, read what I wrote to my family and be wise in leading yourself and yours.
If you read the article I provide a link to in the next paragraph, I think you will begin to understand why I won’t be taking you or encouraging you to go see the new live version of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, which is a bummer because I bet it is going to be great.
This article/post is worth your reading just for the references to Gitlin and McCluhen’s work and words on how media intake impacts all of us. I agree it is our “matrix” (another movie I don’t think any of us have ever seen…but probably should if we can get vid angel working again!).
Media and our constant exposure to its content, undeniably desensitizes us to certain behaviors, ideas and images. Constant exposure to things normalize them and I am sure influence our sensibilities and perceptions. It is why Paul tells us to “transform our mind” with constant exposure to God’s word, and not be conformed to the way of the world”.
The “gay reference” in Beauty and the Beast is subtle and I am not at all suggesting that this movie “will make anyone gay” (if anything it is a stereotype and probably offensive to many gay people.) If what I have read about the movie is correct, the extent of LeFou’s actual “gay behavior”, beyond his infatuation and flirtation with Gaston who according the director “one day wants to be and on another day wants to kiss him”, is a short scene at the end of the movie (apparently all of 3 seconds) where there is a quick switch made in a group dance where the gay character dances with another man briefly instead of a girl. The actual scenes with LeFou have NOTHING to do with my asking you to think through the wisdom in passing on rushing out to see this movie. My suggestion has nothing to do with you being exposed to explicit images, but it does have everything to do with letting Disney know we are not supportive of their choice to advance, in a movie made for children and families, the normalization of a choice that is destructive to individuals who experiment with or embrace it.
Disney is definitely and actively pro okay with gay. As I recently tweeted out to others, we didn’t need this movie to know they (or teen vogue) were trying to normalize and encourage same sex relationships because they already have done far worse. Making LeFou gay in this story is intentional because it is so obviously unnecessary. Disney is free to do what they want, but I personally want to let them know they can do what they want without my encouraging them by making their choice profitable. I am not surprised Disney is doing this, they have never represented themselves as anything less than a company motivated by profit and peace with the ways of the world, and I don’t think they should be surprised that people who believe in the beauty of God’s design, and who have payed attention to the destruction of ignoring it, are saddened by it.
My prayer is that believers everywhere, and you especially, are as discerning and prudent with all of your entertainment, media and music intake and not just open to missing this movie. I am confident you know the enemy would be THRILLED if you skipped seeing Beauty and the Beast to send Disney a message but then gladly let your heart accept other messages because they came from the likes of Netflix or Spielberg, Marvel, Drake, Beyoncé, Lovato, Bieber, One Direction, Mayer, Modern Family, Advertisements while watching sports, West Wing reruns, Prison Break, Breaking Bad, The Office, Gilmore Girls, Gomez, etc…
That said, I DO think Disney, because of its family friendly reputation and younger target demographic, is and should be held to a higher standard than even other entertainment providers. And if Disney should, so should we, because we, by God’s grace, are His people and therefore should love what He loves.
Praying for your discernment and prudence in all things. May you guard your heart with all diligence and be careful with what your “little (and big) ears hear” so your heart always and increasingly loves what is good and hates what is evil.
Praying you have the heart of the King in Psalm 101.
Prov 4:23, Phil 4:8, Prov 22:3,