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Gay controversy surrounding Beauty and the Beast is 'rubbish': Ian McKellen
Gay controversy surrounding Beauty and the Beast is 'rubbish': Ian McKellen

New York [U.S.], Mar. 16 : Ian McKellen, who is playing a pivotal character in Disney's live-action "Beauty and the Beast" has rubbished the entire controversy circling the rumored inclusion of a gay character in the fairy-tale flick.

"People who don't like the idea of gay characters appearing in fairy stories should think what they would think if they were gay themselves and why should they be excluded?" McKellen told CNN at the film's New York premiere.

What prompted the 'gay' debate was when actor Josh Gad's character in the film, LeFou, briefly dances with another male character at the end of the movie, following which Russia restricted children under 16 from seeing the movies.

However, McKellen, who plays Cogsworth in the movie, said the scene is not "revolutionary."

"For people to complain about it and say they don't want children to see it is absolute rubbish. I know people who don't like gay people and make a fuss. It's a very small moment in the movie, no one should get too excited," he said.

Audra McDonald, who plays the wardrobe in "Beauty and the Beast," said the movie is about acceptance.

"There's all kinds of diversity within the world and we have it in this film. In the end, the film is about seeing past anyone's surface and looking on the inside. It's not only about learning to love someone else, but it's about learning to love yourself -- and that's deeply human, and we all feel that no matter who we are or who we love," she told CNN here.

"Beauty and the Beast" releases in 4,000 theaters nationwide on Friday. (ANI)

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