Chris Evans stars in Pixar’s upcoming film, Lightyear, premiering in theaters on June 17. The film follows the real-life Buzz Lightyear, who inspired Andy’s beloved Buzz toy (Tim Allen) in Toy Story (1995).
Disney and Pixar have both come under fire for the film, however. After cutting a gay scene from Pixar’s Turning Red (2022), Disney and Pixar chose to cut a same-sex kiss from Lightyear earlier this year.
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Fans were furious because it came right after Disney’s fumbled response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law. In a significant move, Disney and Pixar ultimately chose to reinstate the kiss and announced that they wouldn’t censor the scene in any international markets.
Despite the controversy, Chris Evans told Variety this week that he hopes this is no longer a big deal in the future. He said the decision to include the same-sex kiss is “great… it’s nice, and it’s wonderful, it makes me happy.”
“It’s tough to not be a little frustrated that it even has to be a topic of discussion,” Evans said. “That it is this kind of ‘news.’”
“The goal is that we can get to a point where it is the norm, and that this doesn’t have to be some uncharted waters, that eventually this is just the way it is. That representation across the board is how we make films. Look, it’s an honor to be a part of something that is taking those steps, but the goal is to look back on this time and just be shocked that it took us this long to get there.”
Saudi Arabia, along with 13 other Middle Eastern and Asian countries, announced this week that Lightyear would be banned from its movie theaters due to the kiss. The Walt Disney Company hasn’t received an answer from Chinese authorities on if Lightyear will be permitted in China, a market where depicted homosexuality in film is typically censored.
Pixar and Disney will not back down in supporting their LGBTQIA+ fans and Cast Members. This year, they released the first-ever officially-titled “Pride Collection,” with 100% of profits going to organizations that support LGBTQIA+ youth through June 30. Previously, Disney released the “Rainbow Disney” collection but refused to acknowledge its association with Pride publicly.
Though initially quiet about Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s Parental Rights in Education Act, known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law, The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek eventually condemned the bill, nudged forward by fans, Cast Members, and Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar employees.
More on Lightyear
If you’re hoping to catch the story behind your favorite space ranger, Buzz Lightyear, head to your local theater on June 17! From Disney:
From Disney and Pixar comes an animated sci-fi action-adventure — the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear (voice of Chris Evans), the hero who inspired the toy. “Lightyear” follows the legendary space ranger on an intergalactic adventure alongside ambitious recruits, Izzy, Mo and Darby, and his robot companion Sox. As this motley crew embark on their toughest mission yet, they must learn to work as a team to escape the evil Zurg and his dutiful robot army who are never far behind.
Are you excited about the LGBTQIA+ representation in Lightyear?