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.”
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 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.
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.
A huge W for Disney! Now they did it for #AmericaChavez in #DoctorStrange In The Multiverse Of Madness! Now they better keep the same sex kiss scene for all countries in Lightyear even if Saudi Arabia & Egypt bans the movie! pic.twitter.com/1yPIoqzjtu
— Josh ❤️ Obi Wan Kenobi,Ms Marvel #BlackLivesMatter (@supermangeek101) April 26, 2022
Saudi Arabia won't allow women to do anything without a male relative permission. LightYear being banned is the least of their troubles. https://t.co/jrlToCUr4R
— ZAK (@Zakiyyah6) June 13, 2022
— Jon Kitchen ☮️ (@kitchen5203) June 13, 2022
Lightyear was banned in yet another Insecure Male country, sorry, I misspelled #SaudiArabia
Imagine being so insecure that 2 females kissing has you ban an entire movie in 2022😂 We out here living in the future while some are still living in the past. Grow up kids. https://t.co/RUYclf9IRV
— Alteraider (@alteraider) June 13, 2022
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.”
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.