Some Disney fans won’t be able to watch the most anticipated Pixar movie, Lightyear (2022), in some theaters due to a same-sex kissing scene occurring in the film.
Pixar’s upcoming Lightyear movie featuring Chris Evans has been banned in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the U.A.E. due to a same-sex kissing scene taking place between a new lesbian character and her partner.
Following Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), Disney has had yet another feature film banned throughout the Middle East due to the inclusion of same-sex narratives or scenes in their films.
After Pixar employees wrote an open letter to The Walt Disney Company amidst the “Don’t Say Gay” Florida State Bill controversies that expressed their disappointment in the company’s diversity and representation of its employees, Pixar was reportedly able to add back a cut scene of Hawthorne (Uzo Aduba) and her significant sharing a kiss in the Toy Story (1995) spin-off.
Pixar Animation Studios has not backed down from pushing the envelope when it comes to revolutionizing their animation, and now Lightyear finds itself on the banned list of many Middle Eastern and Asian countries. Variety reports:
Pixar’s “Lightyear” will not be playing in Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E. and Kuwait, among other West Asia territories, due to the inclusion of a same sex kiss in the “Toy Story” spinoff.
The scene, involving a new lesbian space ranger character named Alisha and her partner starting a family together and greeting each other with a kiss on the lips had been originally cut from the film by Disney.
But it was reinstated when Pixar animators spoke out against Disney in an open letter obtained by Variety, saying that Disney had demanded cuts, censoring “overtly gay affection” and in protest against Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s handling of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
Variety understands that “Lightyear,” which is set for U.S. release in June 17, was never submitted to censors in Saudi, knowing that it would not pass. But the film had instead been initially approved for release in the U.A.E., where censorship restrictions have been loosening up. However, in a significant setback, the license to play the film in the UAE was suddenly revoked following calls on social media accusing Disney and “Lightyear” of insulting Muslims and Islam.
Lightyear is also reportedly set to be blocked from any screenings in Malaysia, as the Eastern Asian country’s censorship organization, the LPF, “takes a strongly negative stance against any film containing themes, dialogue, or scenes involving ‘homosexual and unnatural sex,’” according to Variety.
Malaysia’s LPF reportedly requested that Disney re-edit Lightyear, to which Disney reportedly refused; resulting in the ban of their upcoming Pixar film.
Nonetheless, Lightyear will be available to watch in theaters throughout North America, Europe, and more starting June 17, 2022.
More about Lightyear
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 (Keke Palmer), Mo (Taika Waititi) and Darby (Dale Soules), 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 (James Brolin) and his dutiful robot army who are never far behind.
Joining the previously announced Chris Evans, who lends his voice to Buzz, are Keke Palmer, Dale Soules, and Taika Waititi as a group of ambitious recruits. Peter Sohn voices Buzz’s robot companion, Sox, and the cast also includes the voices of Uzo Aduba, James Brolin, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Efren Ramirez, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. “The cast for ‘Lightyear’ is truly a dream team,” said MacLane. “Each of the performers immediately inhabited their character, which gave us the opportunity to play a bit during recording sessions. This resulted in a level of specificity that elevated the material and brought additional depth to the characters’ relationships. It has been a privilege to work with such a talented and generous cast.”
Award-winning composer Michael Giacchino, who’s behind the scores for the upcoming film The Batman (2022) and Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), is on board to score Lightyear. Giacchino has a long history with Pixar; he won an Oscar, Golden Globe, and GRAMMY for the original score in Up (2009). His other Pixar credits include The Incredibles (2004), Ratatouille (2007), Cars 2 (2011), Inside Out (2015), Coco (2017), and Incredibles 2 (2018) among others. The Lightyear Original Motion Picture Soundtrack from Walt Disney Records will be available on June 17, 2022.
Lightyear is produced by Galyn Susman (Toy Story That Time Forgot).
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