The biggest “will they/won’t they” award of this year goes to Disney/Pixar, as they famously cut out a same-sex kiss in Lightyear before putting it back in after employees spoke against the move. Now, if Disney wants to release the Toy Story prequel in other countries, they might have to cut it out again.
The film’s star Chris Evans even voiced his support for the kiss, saying, “It’s great that it’s back in the film…I think it’s a shame that it’s such a story. It should be more normalized, but I’m glad we are making those steps.” As it turns out, not everyone thinks it should be normalized.
Lightyear has been banned from several countries in the Middle East because of the kiss, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter. The scene involves Hawthorne, voiced by Uzo Aduba, as she kisses her partner in an emotional montage. Lightyear will be banned from various countries, including Saudi Arabia and The United Arab Emirates, due to its “violation of the country’s media content standards.”
The Media Regulatory Office announced that the animated film Lightyear, which is scheduled for release on 16th June, is not licensed for public screening in all cinemas in the UAE, due to its violation of the country’s media content standards. pic.twitter.com/f3iYwXqs1D
— مكتب تنظيم الإعلام (@uaemro) June 13, 2022
This is the fourth Disney movie this year that caused outrage in other countries, all for LGBTQ references in the films. Doctor Strange, Eternals, and West Side Story all had trouble hitting screens in various Persian Gulf countries. While Pixar employees were happy that the kiss scene made it into the film, it just goes to show that the world is a long way from normalizing even the most basic form of LGTBQ affection. Even when its literally an animated character who does not exist!