The Disney-Pixar movie, Lightyear, has been banned in 14 countries, and quite possibly China too!
Here is what we know so far…
Lightyear Movie Banned In 14 Countries + Maybe China Too!
Lightyear – the long-awaited animated feature film from Disney-Pixar – has reportedly been banned in 14 Asian and Middle Eastern countries.
The ban started in the UAE, whose Media Regulatory Office of the Ministry of Youth and Culture announced on 13 June 2022 that :
A Variety report claimed that the UAE initially approved Lightyear for release, but revoked the licence after social media posts accused the movie of insulting Muslims and Islam.
That ban was then followed by other countries. The current list includes, but is not limited to :
- United Arab Emirates
- Saudi Arabia
Although not confirmed yet, it is very likely that Lightyear will also not be allowed to screen in China.
Lightyear producer, Galyn Susman, said that Chinese authorities “asked for cuts”, which Disney declined to make. So she assumed that the movie would not be allowed to screen there either.
I’m assuming it will not make it to China. I know we’ve gotten requests for things to cut, Disney isn’t going to modify the material.
We’re not going to cut out anything, especially something as important as the loving and inspirational relationship that shows Buzz what he’s missing by the choices that he’s making, so that’s not getting cut
Why Lightyear Was Banned In Those Countries…
In Lightyear, the character of Alisha Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba) shares a brief kiss with her same-sex partner.
That’s it – a little kiss between two fictional characters. Unfortunately, it was a kiss too far for those countries.
Normally, Disney would quietly cut such a “controversial” scene from the movie to comply with “local sensibilities”, since it doesn’t affect the plot.
However, Pixar employees had earlier penned a letter complaining that Disney corporate executives were censoring “nearly every moment of overtly gay affection” in their projects.
We at Pixar have personally witnessed beautiful stories, full of diverse characters, come back from Disney corporate reviews shaved down to crumbs of what they once were.
Nearly every moment of overtly gay affection is cut at Disney’s behest, regardless of when there is protest from both the creative teams and executive leadership at Pixar.
Disney caved to the pressure, and decided not to censor the kiss from Lightyear. And so, all those countries refused to grant a licence to screen the movie in theatres.
Lightyear Stars On The Movie Ban By 14+ Countries
Chris Evans, who voiced Buzz Lightyear in this prequel, labelled such objections as “frustrating”.
It’s great that we are a part of something that’s making steps forward in the social inclusion capacity.
But it’s frustrating that there are still places that aren’t where they should be.
He also told Variety magazine that he was frustrated that news coverage of the movie would be focused on such an issue :
It’s tough to not be a little frustrated that it even has to be a topic of discussion. That it is this kind of ‘news.’
The goal is that we can get to a point where it is the norm, and that this doesn’t have to be some uncharted waters, that eventually this is just the way it is.
Taika Waititi, who voices the character of Mo Morrison in the film, added :
We’re hoping for a time when we don’t even have to have this conversation. We can watch a movie and we don’t even have to bat an eyelid.
We don’t have to think ‘Oh wow, weird’. It’s not weird, it’s normal and it should be normalised.
Whenever you have these small steps that studios are making – sometimes they may feel small but also, they are steps – and it’s steps towards normalising humanity and love. I really feel sorry for countries who don’t want this film because of a tiny, weird little thing like that
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