‘Lightyear’ has been banned in Middle Eastern and Asian countries due to featuring openly gay characters
Walt Disney Company's latest film ‘Lightyear’ will not be shown in 14 dominantly Muslim Middle Eastern and Asian countries, and is unlikely to open in China, due to a scene which includes LGBTQ characters and themes, a source said on Monday.
The film won’t be in theaters in Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, or the United Arab Emirates and outside of the Middle East, Lightyear is likewise banned in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had apparently banned the Toy Story spin-off because of a same-sex kissing scene featured in the movie during a montage of Space Ranger Alisha Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba) where she starts a family with her wife.
Homosexuality is still considered a criminal offense in Middle Eastern countries and the UAE's Media Regulatory Office tweeted on Monday that Lightyear is "not licensed for public screening in all cinemas in the UAE, due to its violation of the country's media content standards."
A producer of ‘Lightyear’ has also told Reuters that authorities in China had asked for cuts to the movie, which Disney declined to make, and she assumed the movie would not open there either.
The particular scene was about to be left out of the movie amidst the “Don’t Say Gay” Florida State Bill controversies but Pixar employees wrote an open letter to Walt Disney Co. to express their disappointment with the company’s failure to give a fair representation of its employees and ended up being reconsidered for the film.
This is not the first time in recent times that films have been pulled out from these countries as BBC News reported that another recent Disney film, Marvel's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, also didn't play in Saudi Arabia after the country asked for the "LGBTQ references" to be removed.
Tags: # Pixar, #Disney, #LGBTQ