Speaking on a recent episode of his podcast, Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz complained about "lesbian toys" in Disney's Toy Story spinoff, Lightyear.
Cruz suggested that the Walt Disney Corporation's recent refusal to remove a scene featuring a same-sex kiss from Lightyear is an indication of its commitment to its own "culture agenda" despite the fact that the film has been banned in 14 countries–and soon possibly China–over the scene.
Cruz's complaints are all the more baseless because the characters who share the same-sex kiss (one of which, Hawthorne, is voiced by Orange is the New Black actress Uzo Aduba) are not, in fact, toys.
You can hear what Cruz said in the video below.
"It’s a wild twist where Hollywood has been willing to grovel to China, to let China censor its movies, to embrace anti-Americanism, to avoid any criticism of China because they want to get access to the Chinese movie market, but when it comes to their culture agenda, apparently now suddenly they’ve discovered, ‘Alright, give up the money because lesbian toys are more important.’”
Cruz went on to add that "last time I checked, most toys are kind of androgynous" and that they are "usually without genitalia." He suggested that if Disney must make films with such content, then it should choose to air it only on Cinemax, a network that Disney does not own.
Disney had initially bowed to pressure over the scene, but chose to restore it following pushback from LGBTQ+ employees of its Pixar division, who said they had "personally witnessed beautiful stories, full of diverse characters, come back from Disney corporate reviews shaved down to crumbs of what they once were."
Cruz was swiftly criticized for his statements
Cruz has criticized Disney before.
Earlier this year, was mocked after he made the bizarre claim Disney cartoons would soon feature "Mickey and Pluto going at it."
Cruz's comments were made in defense of Florida's controversial "Don't Say Gay" law, which Disney announced it would work to help repeal.
Florida’s Republican-sponsored Parental Rights in Education bill, or H.B. 1557, was recently signed into law by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. The law, colloquially known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law, aims to “reinforce the fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children in a specified manner.”
The law wants to prohibit “a school district from encouraging classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a specified manner” and authorizes parents to “bring an action against a school district to obtain a declaratory judgment that a school district procedure or practice violates certain provisions of law.”
Cruz called critics of the law "misguided" and stressed then, as he did now, that people "could always shift to Cinemax" if they want to view content he considers inappropriate for children.