In a move that will no doubt thrill LGBT people around the world, 'Beauty and the Beast' is to become the first film in Disney history to feature an 'exclusively gay moment'. With Emma Watson also bringing an emphasis on feminism to the role, it could be the company's most diverse role yet. 

Beauty and the BeastJosh Gad and Luke Evans star in 'Beauty and the Beast'

In the past, Disney was considered a prejudiced enterprise on many counts, but now they are embracing diversity by bringing same-sex romance into their upcoming live action adaptation of 1991 animation 'Beauty and the Beast'. It centres around LeFou, played by Josh Gad, and his feelings for his slick master Gaston who is portrayed by Luke Evans.

'LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston', director Bill Condon explained in an interview with Attitude magazine. 'He's confused about what he wants. It's somebody who's just realizing that he has these feelings. And Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it.'

Indeed, in a clip from the movie featuring Josh and company singing along to the 'Gaston' song, he brings a certain adoration that one would not expect from a heterosexual companion, and the slight effeminate touches to his performance enhance that feeling further without leaning into harmful stereotypes. 'That's what has its pay-off at the end, which I don't want to give away', Bill continued. 'But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.'

Since the release of 'Frozen' in 2013, members of the LGBT community and their allies have been campaigning for Queen Elsa to have a same-sex relationship in the follow-up film, having not had a romantic interest in the first. Idina Menzel, who voiced the character, has since supported this idea.

More: Josh Gad on watching 'Beauty and the Beast' for the first time

'It may have been a long time coming but this is a watershed moment for Disney', says Attitude's editor-in-chief Matt Cain of the 'Beauty and the Beast' revelations.'By representing same-sex attraction in this short but explicitly gay scene, the studio is sending out a message that this is normal and natural - and this is a message that will be heard in every country of the world, even countries where it's still socially unacceptable or even illegal to be gay.'

'Beauty and the Beast' is set to be released in theatres on March 17th 2017.