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Fans Are Coming Forward to Support Pixar’s Lightyear After Saudi Arabia Bans Movie for Insane Reason

According to reports, “Lightyear” the latest film from the studio is banned in many Middle East countries, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The reports by THR say the decision is related to a same-sex kiss in Pixar’s Toy Story prequel spinoff. That particular scene involves the female character named “Izzy Hawthorne” voiced by, Uzo Adubaand, and her partner was initially dropped from the film but replaced following the outcry surrounding it. An official statement from the Pixar team claimed that Disney had been editing “overtly gay affection.”

Pixar's Lightyear Izzy Hawthorne
Izzy Hawthorne in Pixar’s Lightyear

Also read: Lightyear Gets A New Trailer From Disney And Pixar

The UAE’s Media Regulatory Office declared openly on June 13 that the movie is due for release on June 16, and was not licensed for public screening due to the reason stating “violation of the country’s media content standards.”

Pixar’s ‘Lightyear’ Banned in Saudi Arabia for A Same-Sex Kiss Scene

Pixar's Lightyear character Buzz
Pixar’s Lightyear character Buzz

Pixar’s Lightyear is one of the latest in a thriving list of major Disney headlines that have encountered several issues in Gulf countries due to scenes involving LGBTQ references, which often jump to the censors for public releases. The main reason happens to be homosexuality being officially illegal across the region.

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You may also like: Lightyear Trailer Had Many Incredible Toy Story Easter Eggs. How Many Did You Notice?

Previously, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness faced the same issue due to the intro of the character America Chavez who, as per her description in the comics, is gay. In January, West Side Story was also restricted from reaching theatres in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait. In this case, regional references notified THR that the decision was due to the character Anybodys, composed as transgender in the new adaptation and played by a nonbinary actor named Iris Menas.


The office said in a tweet:

“The film 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.”

Pixar's latest movie gets banned
Pixar’s latest movie gets banned in Saudi Arabia

Check out: Lightyear Trailer Breakdown: Story Details & Easter Eggs You Missed

The office did not elaborate on the tweet and did not instantly respond to questions from The Associated Press. The tweet also included an image of a poster, with the profile-sized image of its main character Buzz Lightyear with a “no” symbol over it in red.

It is noted that the “Lightyear” movie will be released exclusively in theatres on June 17.

Related: Chris Evans Says He’s Over MCU, Calls Out Marvel Fans for Unfair Lightyear-Captain America Comparison

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Written by Shreeparna Das