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Same-Sex Kiss Reportedly Cut, Then Restored in Pixar’s ‘Lightyear’

Author: Trudy Ring

The Walt Disney Co., under fire for its tepid response to Florida’s “don’t say gay” legislation and accused of censoring LGBTQ+ content in its movies, has restored a same-sex kiss in the upcoming film Lightyear, a release from Disney’s Pixar subsidiary.

The animated film, billed as an origin story for the Toy Story character Buzz Lightyear, features a female colleague of Lightyear’s, Hawthorne (pictured), who is in a romantic relationship with a woman. A source told Variety that a kiss between the couple had been cut from the film but was put back in last week following the uproar over the company’s record.

“According to multiple former Pixar employees who spoke with Variety on the condition of anonymity, creatives within the studio have tried for years to incorporate LGBTQ identity into its storytelling in ways big and small, only to have those efforts consistently thwarted,” the publication reports.

After the initial criticism of Disney leaders for not speaking out against the “don’t say gay” bill in Florida, where the company is a major employer, CEO Bob Chapek sent a memo to staff saying, “The biggest impact we can have in creating a more inclusive world is through the inspiring content we produce, the welcoming culture we create here, and the diverse community organizations we support, including those representing the LGBTQ+ community.”

Pixar workers then said the content isn’t so inclusive. An open letter from “the LGBTQIA+ employees of Pixar and their allies” claimed that Disney officials had demanded the removal of “nearly every moment of overtly gay affection … regardless of when there is protest from both the creative teams and executive leadership at Pixar.”

Disney has responded to the uproar over the Florida bill by pausing all political contributions in the state, where it had donated to both the bill’s supporters and opponents, pledging funds to LGBTQ+ organizations, and apologizing to employees. Many employees remain unsatisfied and are staging walkouts through next Tuesday.

The Florida bill would ban instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in grades K-3 and require that it be “age-appropriate” in higher grades. Opponents say the “age-appropriate” definition is vague and that the legislation overall will further marginalize LGBTQ+ students and staff. It has been passed by both houses of the legislature and awaits the signature of Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has voiced support for the measure.

Disney declined comment to Variety on the Lightyear edits. The Advocate has sought comment as well and will update this story if there is a response.

Lightyear is scheduled for release June 17. Chris Evans voices Buzz Lightyear and Uzo Aduba voices Hawthorne in the film from director Angus MacLane.

Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Trudy Ring

My name is David but my online nick almost everywhere is Altabear. I'm a web developer, graphic artist and outspoken human rights (and by extension, mens rights) advocate. Married to my gorgeous husband for 10 years, together for 24 and living with our partner of 1.5 years, in beautiful Edmonton, Canada.

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