Disney’s new movie, Lightyear, has been banned in 14 Middle Eastern and Asian countries. The reason? For featuring a lesbian kiss. I swear these stories seek me out and not the other way around. OK, let’s go…
Not To Infinity, And Beyond!
So far a total of 14 countries have banned Disney’s latest. Middle Eastern countries in particular are refusing to screen the Buzz Lightyear origin story featuring the voice talents of Chris Evans, Taika Waititi and James Brolin.
The film won’t be in theatres in Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, or the United Arab Emirates. Outside the Middle East, Lightyear is likewise banned in Indonesia and Malaysia.
The United Arab Emirates announced through the Ministry of Youth and Culture’s Media Regulatory Office that the film will not open there when it is released on Thursday.
In a tweet, the office said the film is “not licenced for public screening” due to its “violation of the country’s media content standards”. The statement continued:
“The office confirms that all films screened in cinemas across the country are subject to follow-up and evaluation before the date of screening to the public, to ensure the safety of the circulated content according to the appropriate age classification.”
The UAE is a Muslim-led nation that criminalises same-sex relationships, like several other Middle East nations. I’m sure Disney must have know this, surely?
There Seems To Be No Sign Of Intelligent Life Anywhere
The scene causing all this involves the female character Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba) and her partner having a kiss. Understandably, two women characters kissing each other in a film about a fictional cartoon astronaut and his robot cat is high up on the list of things parents want their kids to see.
The scene was originally cut from Lightyear but reinstated following the endless screeching and wailing from the blue hairs working at Pixar. They claimed that Disney had been censoring “overtly gay affection” and Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s handling of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
Once again, we have a major corporation that is intent on listening to the noisy minority which is costing them money.
Falling With Style
Disney is learning the hard way, and is caught between a rock and a hard place. On one hand they have the success of their Ms Marvel show which features a teenage superhero of Muslim faith. The show is apparently doing well and seems to be a success so far.
Then on the other hand they continue to push the LGBTQ+ (what’s the + stand for?) message which is clearly not aligned with the Muslim community and, increasingly, many in the West who wonder why this has to be in innocent children’s entertainment?
Disney neglecting their core audience is costing them big bucks. Their stock has recently lost over 28% of its value and is down around 47% from its all-time high set in March 2021.
You DON’T Have My Pity
Other recent Disney movies to face restrictions due to depictions of or references to homosexuality include West Side Story, Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, and Eternals.
It will be interesting to see how Thor Love And Thunder does. Tessa Thompson has been very vocal about her character King Valkyrie enjoying a romance with another woman in the film.
So if 14 countries are going to ban a film over two cartoon characters having a kiss, you can bet Thor won’t be seeing any love in the Middle East, only thunder.
Here’s a crazy idea Disney. How about you start making broad content for the families and children that have made your company the beloved company you once were? Wholesome, fun movies and shows that brought smiles and excitement to us and previous generations for nearly the last 100 years and pretty much no nation on Earth could object to? Then you won’t have to keep tying yourself up in knots like this.
Just an idea.