Pixar's Lightyear reportedly restores same-sex kiss after backlash over claims that Disney censors gay romance in films
A same-sex kiss scene that had been cut out of Pixar's upcoming film Lightyear, has reportedly been reinstated after backlash about Pixar's parent company Disney allegedly censoring gay affection in films.
A scene featuring a same-sex kiss that had been cut from Pixar's upcoming offering Lightyear has reportedly been restored. As per reports, the scene had initially been cut after executives of Disney - Pixar's parent company - felt it wasn't fit for an animated film. However, following backlash of how Disney handles Florida's controversial 'Don't Say Gay' bill, the scene has now been restored. Recently, Pixar employees had claimed that Disney executives routinely censor LGBTQ content in their films. (Also read: Pixar employees claim Disney censors LGBTQ love in its films: 'Every moment of overtly gay affection is cut')
Lightyear, featuring the voices of Chris Evans, Taika Waititi, and James Brolin among others, is a spin-off of Pixar's successful Toy Story franchise and serves as an origin story for Buzz Lightyear, the popular character. The Angus MacLane directorial releases on June 17.
A report in Variety stated that one of the film's characters Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba) is shown to be in a same-sex relationship. A kiss between her and her partner had been edited out of the film earlier. But the reports states that after the staff's recent uproar about Disney censoring LGBTQ affection in films, the kiss was reinstated in the film last week.
The recently-passed 'Don't Say Gay' bill seeks to prevent discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity "in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards." Critics have argued that this will not just increase stigma around LGBTQ identity but also limit awareness around the community's issues. Disney's response to the bill came under criticism when the company's CEO Bob Chapek appeared to hesitate to criticise it. In response, a letter signed by leadership from the LGBTQIA+ Employees of Pixar & Their Allies claimed that "nearly every moment of overtly gay affection is cut (from Pixar films) at Disney's behest."
Pixar, the studio that has produced landmark films like Toy Story, Up, Finding Nemo, and Soul, among others, was started in 1979. Disney purchased it in 2006 at a valuation of over $7.4 billion. Since then, it has operated as a subsidiary of Disney. In 2020, it released Out, a short film about a gay man finding love. This was the studio's first project centred on an LGBTQ character.