A same-sex kiss scene has reportedly been added back to Disney-Pixar’s forthcoming Toy Story prequel film Lightyear. The animated prequel features a relationship between two female characters, one voiced by three-time Emmy winner Uzo Aduba.
Pixar restores same-sex kiss in Lightyear after backlash from LGBTQ employees at Disney studio
While the fact of that relationship was never in question at the studio, a kiss between the characters had been cut from the film, as Variety reports. On March 9, LGBTQ employees and allies at Pixar Animation Studios sent a joint statement to Walt Disney Company leadership claiming that Disney executives had actively censored “overtly gay affection” in its feature films.
“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,” the statement read, per Variety. “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.”
Following the uproar surrounding the Pixar employees’ statement and Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s handling of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, however, the kiss was reinstated into the movie last week. After backlash from within the company, Chapek wrote a letter to employees last week saying: “It is clear that this is not just an issue about a bill in Florida, but instead yet another challenge to basic human rights.”
“You needed me to be a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights and I let you down. I am sorry,” Chapek said further adding that Disney would increase support for advocacy groups combating similar laws in other states. As Variety noted, same-sex material is rare in family animation movies, though several titles from Pixar and other distributors have at least gestured at it. Beyond animation, Disney has also started populating some of its other properties with at least some LGBTQ+ characters and moments.
Disney representatives declined the outlet’s request for comment. Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story prequel film Lightyear, featuring the voice of Chris Evans as the central character, is slated for a theatrical release on June 17.
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