Beauty and the Beast Cast
The cast of “Beauty and the Beast” is defending the movie from critics who are upset with its gay content. In this photo, cast members (from left) Ian McKellen, Josh Gad, Emma Watson, Dan Stevens and Ewan McGregor pose backstage at the New York special screening of Disney’s live-action adaptation “Beauty and the Beast” at Alice Tully Hall on March 13, 2017 in New York City. Getty Images/Jamie McCarthy

Disney’s latest live action adventure “Beauty and the Beast” has come under fire after director Bill Condon announced that LeFou (Josh Gad) will have an “exclusively gay moment” in the film. But if you were to ask the film’s stars about what they think of the public’s uproar against the film, they would say it’s nothing but “rubbish.”

Ian McKellen, who plays Cogsworth in the film, said critics need to keep up with the times.

Read: Ian McKellen guarantees fans will be ‘enraptured’ by ‘Beauty and the Beast’

“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?” he told CNN.

LeFou briefly dances with another male character at the end of the movie, but McKellen said that short scene is not “revolutionary.”

“For people to complain about it and say they don't want children to see it is absolute rubbish,” he said. “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.”

Audra McDonald, who plays the wardrobe, agrees with McKellen and said that “Beauty and the Beast” stands for diversity. “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 said.

Lead star Emma Watson, who plays Belle, has also come to the defense of the film and raved about Gad’s performance. “I think that what’s so fantastic about Josh’s performance is that it’s so subtle,” Watson said. “It’s always like, does he idolize Gaston? Is he in love with Gaston? What’s the relationship there? And I think it’s incredibly subtle, to be perfectly honest,” she said during an interview with Entertainment Weekly on Sirius XM.

But Ewan McGregor, who brings Lumiere back to life in this version, poked fun at critics and insisted that there would be “a lot of gay sex in it.”

“There’s a lot of gay sex in this cartoon. I think if you live anywhere near Alabama, you should not go and see this film. What would Jesus think?” he mockingly said during an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

“Beauty and the Beast” will hit cinemas on March 17.