Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Disney’s ‘Lightyear’ banned in Middle East over same-sex kiss

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To infinity. Not beyond.

Disney and Pixar’s upcoming “Toy Story” spinoff “Lightyear” will be banned in 11 countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

The UAE’s Ministry of Youth and Culture’s Media Regulatory Office tweeted the order Monday saying the movie won’t run due to its “violation of the country’s media content standards.”

Although there was no further explanation, fans believe the same-sex kiss between two female characters, one of whom is voiced by actress Uzo Aduba in the family-friendly movie, is what got it banned.

Homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia, and surrounding countries often take issue with LGBTQ + movie content or characters.

A source told the Wrap that “Lightyear” did not receive release certificates for Malaysia, Indonesia, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan and Lebanon.

The outlet also said that films with intimacy, violence or sexual scenes can also be banned.

Disney and Pixar have wavered on including the lesbian kiss in the intergalactic spinoff. It was initially cut from the film – only to be re-added in March after Pixar employees accused Disney of censorship.

A source close to the film’s production informed Variety of the change.

One of the female characters who kisses another woman in the movie is voiced by Uzo Aduba.

The abrupt decision followed the circulation of a March 9 letter signed by “LGBTQIA + employees of Pixar and their allies,” who accused Disney executives of censoring moments of “overtly gay affection” in their movies and their response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay ”Bill.

“Lightyear” hits US theaters June 17.

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