Pixar’s Lightyear Has Been Banned in Several Countries Over Same-Sex Kiss
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Pixar’s Lightyear has been banned in Saudi Arabia because the film has a same-sex kiss and contains homosexual themes.
SBS reports that other nations in the Middle East, including The United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar have also decided to not show the movie in cinemas.
Deadline added that the film has also not received distribution certificates in Bahrain, Egypt, Oman, Malaysia or Indonesia.
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
The UEA issued a statement issued to Twitter saying: "The office confirms that all films screened in cinemas across the country are subject to follow-up and evaluation before the date of screening to the public, to ensure the safety of the circulated content according to the appropriate age classification."
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, West Side Story and Eternals have also been banned due to Gulf censorship restricting LGBTQI+ storylines.
The movie, which is set in the same universe as Toy Story, includes a kiss scene between Alisha Hawthorne, voiced by Orange Is the New Black actor Uzo Aduba, and another female character.
In March, the scene was initially pulled as tensions rose over Florida's ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, which deems the education of sexuality and gender identity as ‘not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards’.
However, after the scene was removed, LGBTQI+ employees of Disney issued a letter to the company, accusing them of ‘barring’ diverse storytelling, according to Variety.
The statement read: “We at Pixar have personally witnessed beautiful stories, full of diverse characters, come back from Disney corporate reviews shaved down to crumbs of what they once were.
“Nearly every moment of overtly gay affection is cut at Disney’s behest … Even if creating LGBTQIA+ content was the answer to fixing the discriminatory legislation in the world, we are being barred from creating it.”
Variety reports that shortly after the letter was made public, the scene was added back into the film, with Disney CEO Bob Chapek writing in part: “While we have not given money to any politician based on this issue, we have contributed to both Republican and Democrat legislators who have subsequently taken positions on both sides of the legislation.
“The biggest impact we can have in creating a more inclusive world is through the inspiring content we produce, the welcoming culture we create here and the diverse community organisations we support, including those representing the LGBTQ+ community.”
Featured Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Twitter/ Media Regulatory Office.
Topics: News, TV and Film, Disney, LGBTQ, World News