Beauty and the Beast and Power Rangers drew criticism for allegedly under-representing homosexual characters. After building up the films under the pretext of media representation for gay people, the two films failed to deliver.
The LGBT+ community’s fight for inclusion has slowly gained steam over recent years. After the Moonlight bagged the Oscar for Best Picture, it seems that the gay and the transgender will finally get more leading roles in movies.
Moonlight was pretty much a landmark. It was the first film to win that featured an all-black cast as well as the first winner depicting a gay subject.
For years gay and black people have been prevented from starring in films by the Hays Code. The regulation was in place between 1930 and 1968 that prohibited the depiction of “miscegenation” and “sex perversion.”
It’s been a long time since the Code governed Hollywood but the integration of actors and themes that were once banned has been slow. Now that we’re in the “current year,” many were hopeful and with Moonlight, that hope seemed to be well placed.
Unfortunately, we spoke too soon as two of the year’s blockbuster films failed to give the adequate spotlight to its homosexual characters. And in today’s political climate, such things tend to become talking points.
When you make promises to people, you keep them. And if those are the people that you owe the majority of your success, let’s just say breaking said promises is just something that results in political hell breaking lose.
Bill Condon’s Gay Moment Did Not Satisfy The Gay Community
According to Screen Rant, Beauty and the Beast was the first to fail its gay fans after director Bill Condon revealed that Gaston’s lackey would have an “explicitly gay moment” in the film. Unfortunately, it seems that the word “explicitly” was misused because LeFou’s much-awaited scene did not meet expectations.
While fans expected a Moonlight-esque scene from LeFou, all they got was a three-second dance with another man. To top it all off, the scene occurred in near the end of the film. It can probably be assumed that Condon expected a backlash from the gay community.
If that was not enough, Power Rangers also touted its “inclusivity” with Trini who they claimed as the first LGBT superhero on film. Sadly the film also failed to deliver.
The LGBT scene in question involves Trini keeping silent whether or not she likes women. And that’s it, please enjoy your highly inclusive content.
Sadly, despite the increased presence of LGBT actors and themes, full inclusion is still a tantalizing dream. With studios continuing to give priority to financial viability than giving gay and transgender characters the spotlight.
Not that you can blame them of course. Despite Hollywood being the bastion of progressivism, a box office flop has to be avoided like the plague if you want your studio to stay afloat. Sure, Moonlight won the Oscar for Best Picture but it would probably not fare all that well at the box office.
Gay Scenes Publicity Did Not Deliver What Is Expected Of The LGBT Fans
In the end, they shot themselves in the foot with their decision to exaggerate their claim regarding gay inclusivity. Not only did they draw a backlash from the LGBT community but some countries criticized them over their “homosexual” content. Russia, infamous for its treatment of homosexuals, especially called out Power Rangers for their content.
Director Dean Israelite and the cast have yet to withdraw their claims regarding Trini. Perhaps they will learn their lesson and actually put up or shut up when it comes to their future films.
Beauty and the Beast as well as Power Rangers, are still blockbusters despite their paltry portrayal of LGBT characters. It seems that the only hope for more inclusion in blockbuster films is for society itself to accept these groups. They are equal members of the society and not just another minority.
Photo Source: Facebook/Beauty and the Beast