"Buzz Lightyear" and his kiss between two women banned in a dozen countries

“Buzz Lightyear” and his kiss between two women banned in a dozen countries

Pixar Studios’ latest animated film “Buzz Lightyear,” which contains a fleeting kissing scene between two women who live together, has not been released in 14 countries and territories in the Middle East and Asia, a source with access to information learned Tuesday. to the file.

According to this source, the list of these countries, mostly Muslim, is as follows: Malaysia, Indonesia, Lebanon, Jordan, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian Territories, Syria, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates .

“Buzz Lightyear” narrates the birth of the intrepid astronaut who became famous thanks to the “Toy Story” saga. In the film, Buzz and his fellow space rangers, including his leader and best friend Alisha Hawthorne, crash land on a hostile planet.

At one point in the film, Alisha’s character can be seen briefly kissing his wife, a scene that was originally cut by Disney subsidiary Pixar Studios.

But Pixar and Disney employees stood up criticizing the attitude of the number one entertainment company in the world, accused of not being committed to defending the rights of LGBTQ+ people.

The controversy was further reignited after Florida’s adoption of a controversial law banning the teaching of sexual orientation in public schools. Bob Chapek, the CEO of the company that employs more than 75,000 people at its Disney World theme park in Orlando, in the southeastern US state, had found himself confused after saying he was hesitant to oppose the law.

Under pressure, Bob Chapek finally publicly denounced this law.

According to specialized Hollywood media, it was as a result of this controversy that the kissing scene in “Buzz Lightyear” was reinserted. He now appears in all versions of the film, regardless of the destination country.

The film’s producer, Galyn Susman, addressed the issue in early April when she introduced the film to the press.

“Being able to get that kiss back was important to us. It’s a touching moment” with great plot significance, as it allows Buzz to realize that, unlike his friend, he doesn’t have to be loved or a son, he explained.

But the producer had insisted that “we always had the lesbian couple” made up of Alisha and his wife, who despite the initial cut “had always been part of the film.”

The United Arab Emirates Media Regulatory Office announced on Monday a ban on the animated film “due to a violation of the country’s media content standards.”

Authorities did not say how “Buzz Lightyear” violated those standards or whether the kiss scene between two women was specifically to blame.

Posters for the film were already plastered on the streets of the emirate of Dubai, which belongs to the Emirates.

The wealthy Gulf state has a Ministry of Tolerance. It is relatively liberal compared to its neighbors, but is still governed by many restrictions on political and social issues.

Censorship is a widespread practice in the Arab world, especially in the very conservative Gulf region. Movies containing scenes deemed detrimental to morals are often cut or even banned altogether.

“Buzz Lightyear” should also not be shown in Indonesia or Malaysia, two Southeast Asian countries with overwhelmingly Muslim populations.

“We suggested to the owners of the film to think about its audience in Indonesia, where a kiss between LGBT people is still considered sensitive,” Rommy Fibri Hardiyanto, head of the censorship commission at the Ministry of Education and Culture, told AFP.

The film is not strictly banned in Indonesia, but authorities say they are still awaiting the “final version” requested from Disney, particularly with subtitles. “The ball is in their court,” said Rommy Fibri Hardiyanto.

In Malaysia, Disney was asked by the censorship board to cut two scenes “that are not suitable for children”, a Home Ministry official who asked to remain anonymous told AFP.

The request was made last week and Disney has not yet responded to Malaysian authorities, added the official, who did not specify which two scenes were involved.

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