Since its release in theaters, Lightyear has already made some serious buzz—from excitement and reviews to those questioning the casting of Chris Evans instead of Tim Allen as the human version of Buzz Lightyear.
But the latest buzz came in the form of the dismissal of the one same-sex couple in the film, and of course, right in the middle of Pride Month.
There is one scene in the movie where Buzz Lightyear's best friend the commander is seen kissing her wife. Disney and Pixar were accused of forcing an LGBTQ+ agenda on younger audiences, which led to some people being overly critical of the film.
But to make matters worse, it was announced on Monday this scene would be cut from the film entirely for its audiences in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and some Asian countries due to their laws surrounding same-sex marriage.
You can see the announcement here:
"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."
"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."
But not everyone agreed with the decision.
While there were no plans to censor the film in countries where laws prohibit any media depicting non-heterosexual couples, Evangelical Christians also attacked the film before it was even released.
But Chris Evans had a swift response for those who were critical of the scene or were vying for it to be cut altogether.
He suggested homophobes would surely be left behind at some point.
“The real truth is those people are idiots. There are always going to be people who are afraid and unaware and trying to hold on to what was before."
"But those people die off like dinosaurs. I think the goal is to pay them no mind, march forward, and embrace the growth that makes us human."
"Every time there’s been social advancement as we wake up, the American story, the human story is one of constant social awakening and growth, and that’s what makes us good."
Disney CEO Bob Chapek also spoke up about the inclusion of the scene, but not without first performing a misstep.
The scene was originally going to be cut entirely from the film, but because of the push for the "Don't Say Gay" bill in Florida, the team decided to keep the scene in, specifically as a supportive response for inclusion.
Chapek originally was not going to speak on the matter, but with rising concerns in Florida, the cutting of this scene in other countries, and it being Pride Month, he decided to speak up.
Chapek shared the following in a company memo:
"Speaking to you, reading your messages, and meeting with you have helped me better understand how painful our silence was."
"It is clear that this is not just an issue about a bill in Florida, but instead yet another challenge to basic human rights."
"You needed me to be a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights and I let you down. I am sorry."
You can watch the preview for Lightyear here:
Lightyear | Official Trailerwww.youtube.com
Lightyear will appear in theaters for general audiences on Friday, June 17, and it will also be available to rent or purchase on various streaming services.
Though the conversations around this movie have so far been politically charged, it will hopefully be a welcome dose of nostalgia for those who loved the Toy Story films and for anyone who may have been wondering who the Buzz Lightyear toy was inspired by.