A same-sex kiss has been added back to upcoming Disney-Pixar film Lightyear after being cut, according to a report in Variety.
The animated prequel for Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear features a relationship between two female characters, one voiced by three-time Emmy winner Uzo Aduba. A kiss between the two had originally been removed but following recent uproar related to Disney’s handling of both LGBTQ characters and the recent “don’t say gay” bill, it has reportedly been restored.
The move follows a letter released by LGBTQ Pixar employees, which claimed that Disney executives had insisted “overtly gay affection” was removed from all animated features.
“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,” it read.
It was in response to Disney’s mishandling of the recent Florida bill that seeks to ban teaching of sexual identity and gender orientation in early-grade education as well as in “a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students”.
After Disney initially remained quiet on the bill, it was then revealed that every politician who sponsored it had received donations from the studio. An internal statement from the CEO, Bob Chapek, said that the studio would “unequivocally stand” with LGBTQ employees but said that a public statement could be “weaponised”.
This week then saw Disney staff stage a walkout in protest with Chapek then agreeing to pause all political donations in Florida.
The inclusion of a same-sex kiss in Lightyear would mark a major milestone for LGBTQ representation. In 2020’s Onward, Lena Waithe voiced a lesbian cop but her girlfriend di lei was never seen. The brief scene led to the film being banned in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Lightyear, featuring the voice of Chris Evans as the central character, will be released theatrically in June.