It looks like Pixar's latest film will not make it into theaters of some Middle Eastern countries where homosexuality is still considered a criminal offense.
'Toy Story' spinoff, detailing the story of the beloved Buzz Lightyear, who fought against the dreaded Emperor Zurg and lived to tell the tale, is set for release this week, but some foreign fans are already robbed of the opportunity to see the film on the big screen. Saudi Arabia made headlines again by banning 'Lightyear' because of one particular scene involving Uzo Aduba's character.
Disney execs already found themselves in quite a controversy when the scene, in which the female character Alisha Hawthorne kisses her partner, was cut from the film. This questionable decision by Pixar creative team caused a storm of outrage. And now it seems that Saudi Arabia has decided to uphold its laws against homosexuality by banning the animated film entirely.
The list of countries offended by the same-sex kiss scene is not that long, but still – it exists. According to Reuters, 14 Middle Eastern and Asian countries banned 'Lightyear', and the chances of it to premiere in China are low.
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates (banned for "content violation")
In Singapore 'Lightyear' will be released with NC16 due to "overt homosexual depictions".
And this is definitely not the first film to suffer such an unfair fate – in just one year, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries have banned three high-budget Hollywood films, including 'Doctor Strange 2', 'Eternals' and 'West Side Story' for LGBTQ+ promotion, strictly forbidden in that region.
Fans from the aforementioned countries rightly resent the censorship commissions' decision, sharing some really grim predictions about Hollywood's future in the Middle East and South Asia.
Beginning of the end. Quite amazed Dr Strange 2 manage to pass the censorship rating. The more Hollywood movies embraces diversity moving forward, the more movies will get censored or banned. – /zecueid.
'Lightyear' will safely land in U.S. cinemas on June 17, 2022.