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‘Lightyear’ to restore cut controversial kiss after recent Disney issue

The upcoming Disney-Pixar film, Lightyear, is restoring a same-sex kiss scene that was apparently removed from the movie, after recent backlash and controversy.

Lightyear is a spin-off story based on Buzz Lightyear, the famous space ranger in the Toy Story movie franchise. The lead role is played by Chris Evans, together with Uzo Aduba who plays Hawthorne, a significant female character in the film who is shown to be in a proud relationship with another woman. The studio originally planned a scene where Hawthorne kisses her partner, but apparently Disney made them remove it. This placed the Disney executives in a heated controversy, and backlash from the public as they receive a statement from employees and allies of Pixar Animation Studies themselves containing claims that they have been constantly censoring “overly gay affection” and removing LGBTQ+ scenes in films and content over the years.

lightyear same-sex kiss, lightyear
Screenshot from Lightyear’s official trailer | via Pixar on YouTube

As it turns out, this is not the first time that Disney allegedly removed an affectionate same-sex scene in their releases. An example is from the popular animated series Gravity Falls, which was created by Alex Hirsch. In 2020, Hirsch tweeted that Disney “FORBADE [him] from any explicit LGBTQ+ rep.”

Coming from the employees themselves, they have tried for years to incorporate LGBTQ+ identity into their creative storytelling, only for the people in charge to reduce these elements, up to the point where they conveniently just discard these elements in their final releases or censored them to the point that the representation is largely toned down. Some audiences even miss seeing Pixar projects that have LGBTQ+ representation due to them being banned from other countries. While being part of a big company may be difficult for ideas to be seen and heard, through the determination of Pixar employees they were able to stand their ground and restore the scene in the film.

More than just reinstating the cut same-sex kiss scene in Lightyear, this could mark a significant change for the future of upcoming Disney-Pixar films, and we should also take note how the statement from Pixar employees calling out the years-long suppression of LGBTQ+ scenes has played a huge role in making this happen. This call to action can also serve as a milestone for LGBTQ+ representation towards a more diverse inclusion of identities in animated feature films.

lightyear same-sex kiss, lightyear
Screenshot from Lightyear’s teaser trailer | via Pixar on YouTube

As we extend the reach of open-mindedness and acceptance in the film industry, this can also prove that it is highly important to see inclusive storylines and accurate representation of who we are as individuals, no matter how we identify ourselves, in any form of media that we consume.

Lightyear is set to premiere in theaters this June 17th, 2022. /TV


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