We do live in the year 2022, don’t we? Disney’s latest animation Lightyear, which features a same-sex kiss, has been denied release in more than a dozen mainly Muslim countries, a source close to the company said this past week. Here’s what you need to know.
According to new reports, countries across Asia and the Middle East have refused to give Pixar’s Toy Story spinoff a showing, in the latest development for parent company Disney as it tries to navigate differing public and political attitudes on LGBTQ+ issues.
Buzz Lightyear’s Same-Sex Kiss Is Stirring A Lot Of Controversy
In fact, regulators in the United Arab Emirates this week announced they were banning the movie for “violation of the country’s media content standards”, tweeting a picture of titular hero Buzz Lightyear in a red “No” symbol. Indonesia – the world’s largest Muslim-majority country – said it had not banned the film, “but suggested the owner of the movie think about their audience in Indonesia where an LGBT kissing scene is still considered sensitive.”
Rommy Fibri Hardiyanto, head of Indonesia’s censoring office overseen by the Ministry of Education and Culture, told AFP that Disney has not offered a re-cut version of Lightyear. In neighboring Malaysia, the Film Censorship Board said if cuts were not made the film would not be screened in the country.
“It is not appropriate to show the two scenes, and they are not suitable to be viewed by children,” an official, who declined to be named, told AFP.
Disney is understood to have declined to make any cuts, offering the film ‘as is’ in all markets. As a result, a total of 14 countries and territories where the company wanted to show Lightyear have not granted the film a release, AFP has learned. The others are: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, the Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Syria.
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