Rumors have been circulating for months that Toy Story spin-off Lightyear would feature the studio’s first same-sex kiss. And while it looked like the scene might be removed at one stage, we’ve now seen the film, and can confirm that it’s very much intact.
Toy Story spin-off Lightyear makes history this week by featuring the first gay kiss in a Pixar feature.
The scene comes early in proceedings. Space Ranger Alisha Hawthorne is in a relationship with Kiko, a science officer on her ship. On the occasion of their anniversary, they share a kiss. But while it’s only a brief scene onscreen, it’s a major moment for inclusion and diversity in a mainstream family movie.
The same-sex kiss hasn’t been without controversy however, with Disney considering removing the scene from the movie, and the scene itself getting the Lightyear banned in several countries.
Was the same-sex kiss nearly removed?
In March 2022, Variety reported that while Lightyear featured a same-sex relationship, “a kiss between the characters had been cut from the film.”
Following Disney’s lack of response to Florida’s controversial ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, Pixar employees sent a joint statement to Walt Disney Company leadership claiming that Disney executives had actively censored “overtly gay affection” in their feature films.
- Read More: Lightyear review.
The kiss was then reinstated a week later, and speaking to Variety this week, Chris Evans – who voices Buzz Lightyear in the movie – said the scene’s inclusion was “wonderful news.”
Evans responded: “It’s great. As great as it is – and you know, I’ve been asked the question a few times – it’s nice, and it’s wonderful, it makes me happy. It’s tough to not be a little frustrated that it even has to be a topic of discussion. That it is this kind of ‘news.’
“The goal is that we can get to a point where it is the norm, and that this doesn’t have to be some uncharted waters, that eventually this is just the way it is. That representation across the board is how we make films. Look, it’s an honor to be a part of something that is taking those steps, but the goal is to look back on this time and just be shocked that it took us this long to get there.”
Has Lightyear been banned in some territories?
But the kiss continues to cause controversy, with Lightyear now banned by 14 countries in the Middle East and Asia. The United Arab Emirates – where same-sex relationships are illegal – made the announcement through the Ministry of Youth and Culture’s Media Regulatory Office.
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 Tweet explains that the film is “not licensed for public screenings in all cinemas in the UAE” because of its “violation of the country’s media standards.”
- Read More: Lightyear banned in UAE.
Without specifying the violation, the statement continues: “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.”
Lightyear hits screens everywhere else this week, with the film arriving in US and UK cinemas on Friday (June 17).