Walt Disney Studios has crossed the line. The movie company will be releasing “Beauty and the Beast” in theaters on March 17, 2017. This beloved fairytale has been much anticipated by children and their parents for weeks. However, Disney dropped the bombshell that this remake will include a character that is gay. As a matter of fact, he has a crush on Gaston, the nefarious villain.

Flood of homosexual love interests

Normally a movie with a gay character wouldn’t be much of a surprise these days. Homosexual relationships have become so commonplace in the entertainment world that one would be hard-pressed to find a primetime television show that doesn’t have a gay relationship prominently featured.

“Empire”, “Scandal”, and “How to Get Away with Murder” all have lead characters that are involved in, or have dabbled in same-sex romantic affairs. Even family sitcoms like “Modern Family” present a homosexual couple as part of the fabric of today’s family life.

What has so many parents up in arms about “Beauty and the Beast’ is not that an onscreen gay relationship is so shocking in and of itself, it’s the fact that it’s a Disney movie. For as long as most parents can remember, the company has produced feel good Movies with messages of love, encouragement, and friendship. Kids learned that it’s best not to tell lies in moves like “Pinocchio”. Movies like “Dumbo” and “Bambi” taught us to love and take care of animals and nature in general.

And just about everyone fell in love with the goofy rodent with the big ears known as Mickey Mouse.

A time more innocent

Disney movies were always considered a safe space. Many of us remember being dropped off to the movies theater to catch an afternoon matinee while the parents went shopping. They knew the films would keep us entertained and probably teach us a valuable life lesson in the process.

There were no worries that the children would be exposed to explicit sex scenes or vulgar language.

Now it’s 2017, and many parents have posted on social media pages that for the first time they are hesitant to let their children attend a Disney movie. Franklin Graham, son of renowned evangelist Billy Graham, said that while Disney has the right to include gay characters in their movies, “as Christians we also have the right not to support their company”.

“Beauty and the Beast” director Bill Condon fired back saying that “adding a gay character will bring America one step closer to accepting the gay agenda”. So, the choice is yours parents, and it is a responsibility that cannot be taken lightly. Children are curious and often tend to imitate what they see and ask questions later. This is not an adult cartoon like “South Park”, but a movie intended for and marketed to appeal to the youngest and most vulnerable amongst us. Will Disney back off? Only time and the opening box office ticket sales will tell.