Pixar’s Lightyear banned in 14 countries over lesbian kiss

Disney-Pixar’s forthcoming film Lightyear has now reportedly been banned in 14 countries over the inclusion of a same-sex kiss scene.

On Monday, the animated film was banned by the United Arab Emirates “due to its violation of the country’s media standards”. Lightyear was scheduled to release on Thursday (16 June). The UAE is a Muslim-led nation that criminalises same-sex relationships, like several other Middle East nations.

Disney has reportedly been unable to secure the release of Lightyear in 14 Middle Eastern and Asian countries, including Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Kuwait, Egypt, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The film is unlikely to release in China as well after Disney declined to make the cuts which they had asked for.

In Singapore, the movie is expected to receive an M18 rating from the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the highest for a film from Pixar animation studio. It would restrict entry to those aged 18 or older.

The movie, with Chris Evans voicing the character of Buzz Lightyear from the Toy Story films, reportedly includes a a brief kiss between Hawthorne, the character voiced by actress Uzo Aduba, and the woman she is in a relationship with.

At the London premiere for the film on Monday, Evans reportedly said these objections to the same-sex kiss were “frustrating,” adding: “It’s great that we are a part of something that’s making steps forward in the social inclusion capacity, but it’s frustrating that there are still places that aren’t where they should be.”

Meanwhile, producer Galyn Susman at the event said Disney would not cut anything out of the film, “especially something as important as the loving and inspirational relationship that shows Buzz what he’s missing by the choices that he’s making.”

Pixar had earlier restored the same-sex kiss in Lightyear in March after staff released an open letter criticising Disney’s response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. While the nature of the characters’ relationship hadn’t been questioned by production, their kiss had reportedly been cut.

Earlier this year, the Disney/Marvel release Doctor Strange in the Muliverse of Madness was denied a release in Saudi Arabia and other countries over LGBT+ content.



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