Buzz Lightyear movie banned: why new Toy Story film won’t be shown in UAE and Disney response to same-sex kiss

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The UAE have reportedly banned the film citing ‘its violation of the country’s media standards’

Disney and Pixar’s new Lightyear movie, has reportedly been banned in 14 countries due to a brief, same-sex kiss.

Lightyear, which is a prequel to Pixar’s Toy Story franchise stars Chris Evans (Captain America) in the leading role of hero astronaut Buzz Lightyear.

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On Monday (13 June), the United Arab Emirates reportedly banned the film “due to its violation of the country’s media standards.”

Disney has faced challenges securing the release of Lightyear in 14 Middle Eastern and Asian countries.

With the movie unlikely to be released in China after Disney declined to cut scenes.

Here’s everything you need to know about where Lightyear is banned and what Disney has said.

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Why is the Buzz Lightyear movie banned?

So far, 14 countries have reportedly banned the Lightyear film because it features a same-sex kiss.

Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, Tim Peake and Taika Waititi attend  the UK Premiere of Disney Pixars’ “Lightyear” in London (Pic: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures UK)Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, Tim Peake and Taika Waititi attend  the UK Premiere of Disney Pixars’ “Lightyear” in London (Pic: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures UK)
Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, Tim Peake and Taika Waititi attend the UK Premiere of Disney Pixars’ “Lightyear” in London (Pic: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures UK) | Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures UK

The scene in question is a brief kiss between Hawthorne, voiced by Uzo Aduba and the woman she is in a romantic relationship with.

At the London premiere, Evans who voices Lightyear reportedly said that objections to Lightyear over LGBTQ+ issues were “frustrating.”

He added: “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.”

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Where is it banned?

It has been reported that the movie will not be shown in 14 countries across Asia and the Middle East.

Countries who will not show the film include: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait and Lebanon.

It seems unlikely that the movie will be released in China, with a Lightyear producer telling Reuters News Agency that the country had asked for scenes to be cut.

Disney has declined to make the cuts, with the producer stating they had not yet received any answer on whether it would go ahead.

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Producer Galyn Susman told Reuters at the movie’s UK premiere in London: “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.”

Disney have refused to remove same-sex references in the past.

In May, they would not cut scenes from Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, which led to Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries refusing to show the movie.

What have the UAE said?

The UAE has reportedly banned the movie “due to its violation of the country’s media standards.”

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The animated film depicts a same-sex couple who share a brief kiss, which would be illegal in UAE.

Consensual same-sex activity is against the law and carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.

What is the Lightyear movie about?

Disney and Pixar’s Lightyear is a prequel to the Toy Story franchise.

Lightyear will be released in UK cinemas on 17 June (Pic: © 2021 Disney/Pixar)Lightyear will be released in UK cinemas on 17 June (Pic: © 2021 Disney/Pixar)
Lightyear will be released in UK cinemas on 17 June (Pic: © 2021 Disney/Pixar) | © 2021 Disney/Pixar

It tells us the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear, the real astronaut hero who inspired the toy.

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The voice of Lightyear is played by Chris Evans, with award-winning director and Pixar animator Angus MacLane (Finding Dory) in the director’s chair.

When is Lightyear released in the UK?

Disney and Pixar’s Lightyear is set to be released in UK cinemas on 17 June.

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