Pixar's upcoming "Lightyear" animated film, which is the next iteration of the popular "Toy Story" series, has already been banned across 14 markets ahead of its release over its promotion of a same-sex relationship between two characters.
The Hill writes that "Disney, which owns Pixar, told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday it had declined to edit the film to remove scenes including a kiss between two married female characters." The report notes of the movie that "In one scene, Buzz’s best friend Alisha Hawthorne, who is voiced by Uzo Aduba, kisses her same-sex partner."
The United Arab Emirates was the latest Monday to block the film in a growing list of Middle East region and Muslim-majority countries.
Per the WSJ this additionally currently includes bans by Egypt, Malaysia, Iraq, Syria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian territories.
It comes also as Pixar's owner Disney is set to launch its much anticipated Disney+ streaming service across a number of countries later this year; however, it has yet to be revealed whether "Lightyear' will be included. It will hit movie theaters in the United Stats on Friday, during "Pride Month".
The expectation is that China too will join the list of countries banning the film:
It is assumed the film won’t open in China either. Authorities in China had asked Disney to make cuts to “Lightyear,” but Disney declined.
“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,” film producer Galyn Susman said to Reuters earlier this week.
— Toon town studios (@JonathanPeng20) June 11, 2022
In China's case, authorities recently implemented a broad ban on anything considered to promote "effeminate" behavior among youth:
On September 2, 2021, the Chinese government had put a ban on effeminate men from all entertainment platforms – including TV, video games, and social media. The ban was announced following subsequent attempts by the government to enforce "revolutionary culture" which?tighten the mobilization of media and censors any social threats that may corrupt the nation’s "common prosperity."
The majority of the markets banning the movie appear to have made the decision based on religious and socially conservative values.