- Disney Pixar’s film “Lightyear” has been banned in 14 Middle Eastern and Asian countries due to the depiction of a same-sex couple who share a kiss.
- Children under the age of 16 will be unable to watch the film in Singapore where Infocomm Media Development Authority gave the film an NC16 rating.
- A producer for the film stated that China will most likely ban the film as Disney is denying any requests for changes.
- The United Arab Emirates, where same-sex relationships are considered a crime, said that the film violated the country’s media content guidelines.
- “Lightyear” will be released in theaters on June 15 for international audiences and June 17 for the United States.
The depiction of a same-sex couple who share a kiss in the Disney Pixar animated film “Lightyear” prompted 14 Asian and Middle Eastern countries to ban the film.
In “Lightyear,” a prequel to Pixar’s “Toy Story” franchise, Buzz’s close friend, a female space ranger, marries another woman. A scene depicting the timeline of the couple’s relationship features a brief kiss between the couple.
The film will not be shown in several Asian and Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Indonesia and Malaysia. The United Arab Emirates, which considers same-sex relationships as criminal, stated that the movie has been banned for violating the country’s media content standards.
Producers of the film speculated that China will most likely ban the film as well. Galyn Susman, a producer for “Lightyear,” explained that Disney would deny any requests for changes to the film.
“We’re not going to cut out anything, especially something as important as the loving and inspirational relationship that shows Buzz what he’s missing by the choices that he’s making,” Susman told Reuters at the “Lightyear” red carpet premiere in London.
China, however, is not considered a “make or break” market for Pixar, having only contributed 3 percent to the global box office for “Toy Story 4” in 2019.
On Tuesday, Singapore banned “Lightyear” from being viewed by children under 16. The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) gave the film an NC16 rating, stating that although it is an “excellent animated film set in the US context, Singapore is a diverse society where we have multiple sensibilities and viewpoints.” The IMDA added that “Lightyear” is the first commercial children’s animated film to openly depict same-sex relationships.
Actor Chris Evans, who voices Buzz in “Lightyear,” called the bans “frustrating.”
“It’s great that we are a part of something that’s making steps forward in the social inclusion capacity, but it’s frustrating that there are still places that aren’t where they should be,” Evans told Reuters.
Featured Images via Pixar