I am not a homophobe but I don't get the need to re-write Disney's Beauty and the Beast to include what has been described by Attitude Magazine as an "explicitly gay scene."

Disney releases it's live action version of it's 1991 animated classic on March 17th and  Director Bill Condon tells Attitude Magazine the update will feature Disney's first ever "gay moment" in a scene between ladies man, Gaston and his man servant LeFou.  According to The Telegraph, Attitude calls Beauty and the Beast, "Disney's gayest film ever," with a "same sex surprise" for fans.  Attitude editor-in-chief, Matt Cain says of the gay scene, "it may have been a long time coming but this is a watershed moment for Disney."

That's not the only difference between the original and the live action version.  We are told that our meek heroine, Belle has become a feminist, in fact the BBC says actress Emma Watson would not accept the role under any other circumstances.

Maybe I'm getting old, sentimental and cynical but I just don't see a need to re-write a classic in order to satisfy the political agendas of a few.  Call me a purist.  I was actually looking forward to seeing this film and I'm sure the special effects will be fabulous.  I may just skip it though, choosing to remember Mrs. Potts, Chip, Luminaire and the rest of the gang as they were the last time I tuned in with my kids.

Just a warning to parents and grandparents, while the film is rated PG, you may want to screen the film first before deciding whether to take the kids.  Some of us still feel that 7 and 8 year old kids don't need to have sexuality rammed down their throats at such an early age.

Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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