Disney’s ‘Lightyear’ banned in 14 countries
‘Toy Story’ Spinoff Won’t Air in Parts of Middle East and Asia
‘Lightyear’ has become a battleground for LGBTI rights. Its world premiere will no longer be worldwide. This spin-off of the ‘Toy Story’ universe, released in different territories – in the film industry there are no countries, only territories, which do not exactly coincide with the nations – between this Wednesday (15) and Friday (17) ( when it arrives in Spanish cinemas), it cannot be seen in Middle Eastern countries, such as Kuwait or the United Arab Emirates, nor in others in Asia, such as Malaysia.
Pixar and its parent Disney didn’t even submit it to Saudi Arabia’s censorship, knowing it wouldn’t be approved there, but according to Variety, the film passed a first screening in the UAE.
In the end, 14 countries in the Middle East and Asia, among which, in addition to those mentioned, include Indonesia, Egypt and Lebanon, banned the film from being shown in their cinemas because it included a kiss by a same-sex couple. And the launch in China, one of the biggest movie markets in the world, is maintained. In many of these nations homosexuality is considered a crime.
The film was mentioned three months ago by Pixar’s animators when they protested against the LGTBI rights law in the State of Florida, which Disney appeared to comply with.
Workers claimed in March that company executives had requested cuts to “almost every moment of gay-affection” in Pixar films, despite resistance and protests from creative teams and management at the studio, which the entertainment giant bought in 2006. .
“We at Pixar have witnessed how beautiful stories, filled with diverse characters, return from Disney’s corporate critique in a crumbled version of what they were,” said the text addressed to the company’s CEO, Bob Chapek, who came to the position last year. past, replacing Bob Iger.
And in those cuts was the lesbian kiss in “Lightyear.” Disney, which has six Florida theme parks, backtracked and brought it back. The company didn’t change the dynamic between the two, but took the kiss between the women off the screen, according to Variety magazine. A friend of Buzz Lightyear, a space ranger, marries another on-screen woman, with whom she has couple sequences, including a kiss.
In addition, Chinese officials asked Disney for some cuts. The producer clarified that it has not yet received a definitive answer from the Chinese government, but the censorship of this Asian country has already rejected other manifestations of homosexuality on the screen in the past.
“We’re not going to cut anything, especially something as important as the loving and inspiring relationship that shows Buzz what he’s been missing out on with the decisions he makes, so that won’t be cut,” producer Galyn Susman told Reuters at the event.
Actor Chris Evans, who voices the protagonist Buzz Lightyear in place of Tim Allen, also made his opinion clear. He, who also played Captain America, described the situation as “frustrating”: “It’s great that we’re a part of something that’s advancing the capacity for social inclusion, but it’s frustrating that there are still places that aren’t where they should be.”
Despite the frustration, Pixar sent a message of calm, because, despite the magnitude of the Asian market, the Chinese box office represented only 3% of the worldwide revenue of “Toy Story 4”, which exceeded one billion euros.
A few months ago, Disney already ruled out releasing Doctor Strange in the multiverse of madness in several countries for the same reason. However, it is the first time that this confrontation against censorship has been made public.
Source: O Globo Agency