Pixar reinstates same-sex kiss in Lightyear following backlash
21 March 2022, 17:32 | Updated: 21 March 2022, 20:45
The gay kiss is supposed to occur between Alicia Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba) and another unidentified female character.
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Lightyear, which will be released on June 17, is the origin story of Toy Story character Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Chris Evans). Earlier this month, Pixar employees criticised Disney's response to the Don't Say Gay bill and accused the company for censoring LGBTQ representation or "overtly gay affection" in films in an open letter.
Under the harmful bill, which is actually called House Bill 1557, all discussions about sexual orientation and gender identity for school age children would be banned. Parents will also be able to sue any school or teacher that has these discussions.
The letter demanded that Disney "immediately withdraw all financial support from the legislators behind the Don't Say Gay bill" following reports that Disney had backed the initiative by donating to every sponsor and co-sponsor of the bill. However, Disney's CEO Bob Chapek said the company was "opposed to the bill from the outset" but decided not to say it publicly.
Well, now a production source has confirmed to Variety that a kiss between female character Alicia Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba) and another unidentified female character has been restored after being cut from the film. Although the movie would have stated that Hawthrone is in a relationship with a woman, the kiss would not have been included. It appears that the decision about Lightyear is in response to the claims that Disney has been censoring LGBTQ+ films.
Steven Hunter, who directed short film Out, told the publication that with LGBTQ equal rights frequently under attack, it's important that there's greater representation for the community.
He said: "I stand by my colleagues. I’m really proud of those folks for speaking up. We need that. We need Mr. Chapek to understand that we need to be speaking up. We can’t assume that these laws that they’re trying to put in place aren’t hurtful and bigoted and, frankly, evil. We are not going away. We’re not going back in the closet."