Disney's 'Lightyear' banned in 13 countries over same sex kissing scene
At least 13 nations and the Palestinian territory have barred Disney’s latest animated film Lightyear from screening after the inclusion of a brief same sex kissing scene in the film, Disney said on Thursday.
The Pixar film, which premiered on Friday in India, has actor Chris Evans voicing the inspiration for the astronaut hero Buzz Lightyear from the Toy Story movies, The Walt Disney Co said.
This represents a major challenge at the box office for one of Disney's biggest animated films of the year as the film industry comes out of the depths of the coronavirus pandemic. Analysts estimated it could gross over USD 100 million in its first weekend.
Lightyear includes a female character voiced by actress Uzo Aduba briefly kissing her female partner in one scene in the USD 200 million film. That proved too much for censors in many nations, where laws often criminalise same-sex relationships.
Nations that refused to allow the film to be shown include Bahrain, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and the United Arab Emirates, Disney said. The UAE, home to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, earlier this week announced it would not allow the film to screen.
The film's stars had called the earlier decision of the UAE disappointing.
“Yeah, it's frustrating," Evans told The Associated Press earlier this week at the premiere of Lightyear in London. “It feels good to be a part of something that is making social progress, but it's with this ribbon of bittersweet frustration that at the same time, there are still places that have not caught up,” he added.
The moment had been earlier cut from the film but was restored after Pixar and Disney employees protested.