Since Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (2017) was released earlier this month, a number of concern groups in Hong Kong have been up in arms about the movie because it features who appears to be a gay character, LeFou.
Anti-gay groups have been up in arms
A Christian school in Hong Kong issued a notice to parents to boycott the movie: “The school has been teaching the children with the truths in the Bible to let them understand God’s purposes of creating mankind. God disapproves of homosexuality. Therefore we call on the parents not to bring them or let them watch the film.”
Some ideological groups are fearing their coming irrelevance
I won’t get into ideological arguments here, but my observation is that as the world is changing, certain interests groups are beginning to realise that their power over the minds of young people are eroding. As such, they are coming to lose their influence over the next generation by the hands of the media. I feel that they fear their coming irrelevance. The world is changing too fast.
Some are fearing of losing their grips over society
To me, this isn’t about moral relativity. I’m afraid this has to do with power. We can relate this to current events in Hong Kong politics as well. In recent years, due to certain political developments, the youth in Hong Kong have become more and more radicalised. We can witness this by the Occupy protests in 2014 and the Mongkok riots in 2016. A fundamental change is that young people have taken on leading political roles.
Fractures appear to be a generational divide
In light of these movements led by young people, the older generations have been up in arms in opposition to the “chaos.” We can see that the ranks of pro-police demonstrations after the conviction of the 7 police officers, anti-localists protests after the oath saga, and the pro-government demonstrations throughout are more often than not occupied by older people. They fear they are losing control of what their society has become.
I believe there is more to this so-called “boycott” to this movie. The very same people of the generation who now call for the boycott of Beauty and the Beast are the very same people who embraced Hong Kong’s laissez-faire economy. Thankfully, there is still freedom of speech in Hong Kong. They are free to protest against Disney. I suggest that they stage their protest in Disneyland to disrupt Disney’s businesses.