Beauty and the Beast Controversy

Knowing that I’m a children’s pastor and avid Disney fan, I’ve had many parents ask me what my opinion is on Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

It’s well documented that Disney is releasing their anticipated live action picture Beauty and the Beast. It has also been reported that Disney planned an “exclusively gay moment” with the character LeFou. He’s described as someone who is “confused” about his sexuality, and it sounds like at the end of the movie there’s a scene in which that he determines he is gay.

I believe the Bible is very clear that God designed sexual relationships to be exclusively between a married biological man and biological woman, but I’m concerned about the response by Christians. There has been a lot of name calling, outrage and nasty comments regarding this move by Disney.

No matter your opinion, it’s important that we don’t react like it’s the end of the world. Instead, use this as an opportunity to:

Teach your kids. This could be a great teaching moment for your kids on why you will or will not see this movie. This is a continuation of the sexuality debate. Know what the Bible states. Decide if this has the potential to shake your faith or cause you or your kids to stumble.

Decide if you really want to boycott Disney. This is completely up to you. It’s well-documented that Disney has been boycotted for various other cultural moves. Disney owns many companies and franchises. Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Cub Foods, McDonalds and many other companies support LGBTQ initiatives. When does the boycotting end? Why boycott this company and not that company when they share the same values and support the same initiatives that contradict our faith? Personally, I think we as Christians can appear inconsistent and hypocritical to non-believers when we boycott certain companies but not others. Also, boycotts are generally short-lived. Are you really willing to never watch another Disney movie, shop at a Disney store, wear a Mickey Mouse t-shirt or visit a park? Because once you’ve made a stand against the company, going back on it makes your position look weak.

Remember that movies are a barometer of culture. Disney is not a Christian company, nor has it ever claimed to be. Our culture is embracing this change, and Disney is giving the people what they want. Their goal is to make money on movies that the majority want to see. It’s not up to Disney reflect our Christian values.

Speak the truth in love. With all the bickering going on, it’s easy to see why some people think poorly of Christians and think we represent hate. There is a way to stand up for godly values with grace and love. Ephesians 4:15 states, “Instead, we will speak the truth in love…” Don’t hate or talk down to people if they decide to see it. We live in a world where some in culture are trying to normalize ungodly values, but hateful and judgmental speech is hardly going to change minds. I don’t have to share or agree with other’s values, but I do have to love them. I pray that as we take a stand for our values, our speech is life-giving and our lives emulate Christ.

Admittedly, I’m disappointed with the recent moves Disney has made, which include same-sex couples kissing in a recent Disney XD children’s show. I do not believe these are shared values with it’s original creator—Walt Disney. I do appreciate that I am completely in control as a parent. I get to make the choice whether I see the movie or not. You get to make the choice whether you see the movie or not.

The bottom line is that this is a great opportunity to teach your kids and start amazing conversations.

I would love to hear your thoughts.

-Justyn

4 comments

  1. I love your stance on this topic. I think we need to be level headed and measured in our response.
    I also hope parents start to realize they need to prepare their kids for the World, instead of just blindly protecting them.

  2. I don’t think my 7 year old would know I’m boycotting a movie unless I tell her . I think talking to her about why I’m boycotting a movie for these reasons would only confuse her. 7 year olds are not aware that there are people who chose to be gay or change their gender . I think talking to her about this would only bring more questions

  3. This is spot on! When we judge, we knock God off this thrown and we think we can do better. We need to live in the world but not be of it. Lot and his family lived in a very highly sexual sick city but he did not engage in that behavior. I think we need to be wary but out of love. Why when a Disney character lies or cheats or like Moana disobeys her father do we not have outrages for that? Is that behavior not a sin? Ok my two cents! Speaking the truth in Love and nothing but Love here! 🙂

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