'Beauty and the Beast' Drives Away 95 Percent of Faith-Driven Consumers Because of Gay Character

Josh Gad plays LeFou, a gay character in Disney's live-action 'Beauty and The Beast.'
Josh Gad plays LeFou, a gay character in Disney's live-action 'Beauty and The Beast.' ( REUTERS/Phil McCarten/File Photo)

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Faith Driven Consumer™ (FDC)—representing 41 million Americans who spend $2 trillion annually—has earned wide recognition for its groundbreaking FaithEqualityIndex.com (FEI), which scores more than 500 major brands for compatibility with the FDC community, and also for its Faith-Friendly Film Review entertainment rating system, a key resource for audiences and entertainment industry leaders alike.

Today, the group is announcing research findings on the impact of Disney's decision to include what the film's director called an "exclusively gay moment" in Beauty and the Beast—opening in theaters nationwide this Friday—on the Faith Driven Consumer market segment.

"Disney's decision to celebrate LGBT individuals with an 'exclusively gay moment' in Beauty and the Beast is a testament to the LGBT community's success in advocating for and achieving high-profile recognition of their worldview," said Chris Stone, founder of Faith Driven Consumer.

"Faith Driven Consumers understand the LGBT community's goal for inclusion by Hollywood and Corporate America. For FDCs this is not homophobia or bigotry. There are many complex realities in the world that Faith Driven Consumers simply do not wish to have addressed with their children via entertainment, especially in a family movie. Beauty and the Beast—previously an acceptable family film—is now being used, as its director proudly revealed, to promote a message that is in conflict with deeply held tenets of Faith Driven Consumers' religious beliefs. This decision by Disney, like so many others, disconnects FDCs—41 million potential movie-goers—from the film, putting Disney and its shareholders at financial risk.

"Entertainment broadly has become highly politicized and sexualized, meant to enculturate audiences. This excludes Faith Driven Consumers who are left with an increasingly limited number of acceptable entertainment options for their families. They want entertainment to remain just that—entertainment.

"Today's striking survey results—expanding upon our substantial body of research—offer further proof that Faith Driven Consumers will respond in the marketplace to signs of welcome, or lack thereof."

FDC's Beauty and the Beast Research¹

  • 95 percent of Faith Driven Consumers are less likely to see Beauty and the Beast due to Disney's decision to include an "exclusively gay moment" in the film.
  • 94 percent of Faith Driven Consumers are now less likely to spend money with Disney as a whole in light of the "exclusively gay moment" in Beauty and the Beast, coming on top of Disney's long-standing pattern.
  • 58 percent of Faith Driven Consumers think the primary motivation behind Disney's decision to include an "exclusively gay moment" in Beauty and the Beast was "to normalize homosexuality." 19 percent think the motivation was "to be intentionally inclusive of LGBT people;" 15 percent "to reject biblical Christian values regarding homosexuality"; 3 percent each for "to accommodate LGBT employees at Disney" and "to accurately reflect real-world diversity."
  • 87 percent of Faith Driven Consumers feel that Disney is not equally inclusive of Christians with biblically based values. Only 4 percent believe Disney is equally inclusive of this community.
  • A majority (52 percent) of Faith Driven Consumers say Disney does not meet their entertainment needs well at all. Another 25 percent say Disney meets their entertainment needs only slightly well. 5 percent of FDCs say Disney meets their entertainment needs very or extremely well.
  • 62 percent of Faith Driven Consumers say Disney does not reflect their values well at all. Another 22 percent say Disney reflects their values only slightly well. 3 percent of FDCs say Disney reflects their values very or extremely well.

Background Research on Faith Driven Consumers²

  • 96 percent of Faith Driven Consumers say that their faith has a major influence on their entertainment choices.
  • 89 percent of Faith Driven Consumers feel that they have different entertainment needs than the market at large.
  • 71 percent of Faith Driven Consumers feel that the current entertainment industry of movies and television doesn't adequately acknowledge, welcome and provide for them as Christians, and 92 percent would like to see the marketplace do more; 63 percent say a lot more.
  • 87 percent of Faith Driven Consumers are much more likely—58 percent very much more likely— to choose entertainment options that promote Christian-compatible values.
  • 86 percent of Faith Driven Consumers are more likely—54 percent much more likely—to do business with a brand that welcomes their Christian values more than its competitors.
  • 86 percent of Faith Driven Consumers are more likely—53 percent much more likely—to do business with a brand that welcomes them and acknowledges their values equal to other groups and their values.
  • 77 percent of Faith Driven Consumers would switch their shopping from a company not compatible with their Christian worldview to a company that is.
  • 70 percent of Faith Driven Consumers actively seek brands and businesses that acknowledge, welcome and provide for them as Christians.
  • Faith Driven Consumers (47 percent) feel that brands are less welcoming of them than brands are of the LGBT community, while only 28 percent feel brands are more welcoming of FDCs.

¹ FDC Beauty and the Beast Community Survey by American Insights (2017); 6,700 members of the FDC community surveyed online

² FDC National Benchmark Study by American Insights (2014); 2,400 Christians surveyed online

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