Evangelist Franklin Graham has urged Christians to boycott Disney after it was revealed that the film company had included a same-sex kiss in a cartoon and will feature an openly gay character in its upcoming "Beauty and the Beast" remake.
In a Facebook post, Billy Graham's son warned that Disney is attempting to "normalize" same-sex relationships by featuring them in films made primarily for children.
"They're trying to push the LGBT agenda into the hearts and minds of your children-watch out!" he cautioned. "Disney has the right to make their cartoons, it's a free country. But as Christians we also have the right not to support their company. I hope Christians everywhere will say no to Disney."
The 64-year-old evangelist added that he, along with his brother and father, met Walt Disney many years ago: "He would be shocked at what has happened to the company that he started," Graham said.
The same-sex cartoon kiss appeared on a recent episode of the popular children's show "Star vs. The Forces of Evil". In the episode, a few same-sex couples are shown locking lips during a rock concert.
In turn, "Beauty and the Beast" director Bill Condon revealed that Gaston's friend LeFou, will be shown questioning his feelings for his friend in the upcoming film.
"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," director Bill Condon told Attitude magazine. "It is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie," Condon added.
The controversial move prompted one Christian-owned Alabama theater to scrap plans to screen the upcoming remake: "It is with great sorrow that I have to tell our customers that we will not be showing Beauty and the Beast at the Henagar Drive-In when it comes out," the theater said in a statement. "When companies continually force their views on us we need to take a stand. We all make choices and I am making mine. For those that do not know Beauty and the Beast is "premiering" their first homosexual character. The producer also says at the end of the movie "there will be a surprise for same-sex couples."--
In a separate post, Graham praised the move and urged his 5.4 million Facebook followers to voice their support for the theater: "I wish more businesses would have this kind of character to take a stand for what is right," he said. "God bless them. Let them know in the comments below that you support their decision.
The conservative group American Family Association is also urging parents to sign a petition stating they will boycott Disney unless they produce family-friendly entertainment.
"Disney has decided to be politically correct instead of providing family-friendly entertainment," said the organization. "The company should stick to family entertainment instead of pushing an agenda. Conservative families need to urge Disney to avoid mature and controversial topics."