Ala. theater refuses to show 'Beauty and the Beast' over gay character

DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. -- Two weeks before opening in theatres, the live action remake of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," has stirred up controversy in Alabama.

The Henagar Drive-In Theatre in DeKalb County, Alabama announced on Facebook they will not show the film due to religious beliefs.

Disney announced that the character of Lefou is openly gay and that there is a scene at the end of the movie with what the director calls a "gay moment."

"Beauty and the Beast," is a classic Disney story of a young girl who falls in love. When the remake premiers in March, it'll debut Disney's first openly gay character in a film, Lefou, who has a crush on the film's villain, Gaston.

The owner, Carol Laney, took to Facebook Thursday night announcing she will not show the film at her business because of the gay character.

In the post, she wrote "when companies continually force their views on us we need to take a stand."

"My salvation isn't about money. It isn't about man. It's about what God wants me to do," Laney told WAAY.

The post received mixed responses and while some patrons said they won't buy another ticket at the theater, some customers said they'll still be in line for a front row seat.

"When I grew up, it was just a regular story, a regular romance between a man and a woman," said theater patron Jeremy Reed.

But gay rights advocate Clete Wetli strongly disagrees with the owner's decision.

"I commend Disney for being inclusive, and showing the real diversity of love in our world," Wetli said.

For 17 years, the drive-in theater has shown many explicit movies. The current owners, who took over in December, said the "Beauty and the Beast" isn't the only movie that's getting the cut.

"We will not be playing movies that have sex. We will not be playing movies that have nudity," Laney said.

Laney said while she knows she might lose out on a lot of money, she's staying firm on her beliefs.

"It's my choice," Laney said.

Owners said Disney representatives have been in contact with them, but the owners said they cut the conversation short and told Disney they will not change their minds on their decision.

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