Disney’s Lightyear Is Being Banned

By Michileen Martin | 18 seconds ago

lightyear

Of all the films to get hit with censorship, you probably wouldn’t think an upcoming Toy Story spin-off would have much to worry about — but then you’d be wrong. In far too many places around the world, the upcoming Pixar film Lightyear is being banned. The reason? Sadly, it appears that it’s the usual, hateful suspect — two people of the same sex are going to kiss in the movie, and that’s just far too much for some nations to bear.

Deadline reports that markets in certain Middle Eastern countries in particular are refusing to screen the animated adventure. The film won’t be in theaters in Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, or the United Arab Emirates. Outside the Middle East, Lightyear is likewise banned in Indonesia and Malaysia. The issue, Deadline says, is the presence of openly LGBTQ characters in the film.

Unfortunately this censorship is becoming so commonplace that it would be more of a surprise if we did not hear about Lightyear being banned for LGBTQ representation. Another big Disney movie, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, was likewise kept out of Saubi Arabia because of the openly gay character America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez). Eternals faced similar bans; as did Everything Everywhere All at Once and Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story.

Considering we are less than a month away from the premiere of Thor: Love and Thunder, we can only assume we are at best weeks away from reports about that blockbuster, like Lightyear, being banned. Tessa Thompson has been very vocal about her character King Valkyrie enjoying a romance with another woman in the film. Censors are no doubt already throwing up walls between that film and their countries’ people.

chris evans lightyear trailer pixar

In one sense it is arguably good news that Lightyear is being banned — because it means Disney kept its word. Last October, word began spreading that there was “substantial LGBTQ representation” in the upcoming Toy Story spin-off, but that representation almost got cut. In the middle of the controversy surrounding Disney’s initial lack of response to Florida’s legislation known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, it came out that the studio had allegedly not always been as dedicated to LGBTQ representation as it claimed. As reported by Variety and others, a group of employees from the the Disney-owned Pixar composed a letter which included claims that the parent company had intervened multiple times to either minimize or completely erase LGBTQ representation in Pixar’s films. Among these Disney-mandated changes was the removal of a same sex kiss from Lightyear.

Close to two weeks after the Pixar employees’ letter went public came the word from the AV Club and others that Disney had put the same sex kiss back in Lightyear. It seems likely if Disney hadn’t backtracked, then Lightyear wouldn’t have been banned.

If you can somehow handle watching two people who want kiss each other kiss each other, Lightyear hits theaters this Friday, June 17. The animated film is directed by Angus MacLane (Finding Dory) and written by MacLane, Jason Headley (Onward), and Matthew Aldrich (Coco). The voice talent includes Chris Evans (The Avengers), Keke Palmer (Hustlers), Peter Sohn (The Good Dinosaur), James Brolin (Traffic), Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit), Dale Soules (Orange Is the New Black), and Uzo Aduba (My Little Pony: The Movie).