LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 02:  Josh Gad  arrives a the Premiere Of Disney's "Beauty And The Beast"  at El Capitan Theatre on March 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

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Josh Gad has a message for those who are offended that his character, LeFou, is gay

Gad says the film is all about "inclusion" and viewers should be focused on Gaston's hate

CNN  — 

Josh Gad has a message for people upset that his character in the upcoming “Beauty and the Beast” film is gay.

“What I would say is that this film is one of inclusiveness,” Gad told People. “It’s one that has something to offer everyone.”

Gad plays LeFou, the first openly gay character in a Disney movie. At least one theater in Alabama is refusing to show the film. “Beauty and the Beast” opens in 4,000 theaters nationwide on March 17.

Related: Alabama theater shuns ‘Beauty and the Beast’ over gay ‘moment’

“There is so much fear out there of that which we don’t understand, that which we don’t know,” Gad told the magazine.

At the end of the film, LeFou dances with another man. Gad called the moment “subtle but incredibly effective.”

Director Bill Condon talked to Attitude magazine last week about his decision to have an “exclusively gay moment” in the film.

“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” he said. “He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings.”

Gad says viewers should be focused on the hate that is central to Gaston’s character.

“You have a character in Gaston who uses his charm offensive to whip other people into a frenzy to go and attack somebody they’ve never met,” he said. “Somebody that’s different. Somebody that only represents a danger because [Gaston] says that he represents a danger.”

“I think that that theme is as relevant today as it was when ‘Beauty and the Beast’ was first written 300 years ago,” he added. “So that’s what I hope people take from it.”