Disney Restores Same-Sex Kiss in Buzz Lightyear Origin Story After Backlash
Pixar employees said they’re barred from creating LGBTQ+ content.
Disney received a number of complaints from employees who noticed that it has been removing queer scenes while quietly supporting Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill that denounces any discussion of queerness.
Most recently, Disney deleted a scene displaying a kiss between two female characters in its upcoming Buzz Lightyear origin story, Lightyear. The female lead Hawthorne is a queer woman voiced by Orange Is the New Black star, Uzo Aduba. In a statement shared with Variety, LGBTQ+ employees at Pixar allege that Disney have cut “nearly every moment of overtly gay affection … regardless of when there is a protest from both the creative teams and executive leadership at Pixar.”
The statement reads, “We at Pixar have personally witnessed beautiful stories, full of diverse characters, come back from Disney corporate reviews shaved down to crumbs of what they once were. Even if creating LGBTQIA+ content was the answer to fixing the discriminatory legislation in the world, we are being barred from creating it.”
The letter was written in response to the revelation that Disney was financially contributing to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. When employees voiced their concerns, Disney CEO Bob Chapek shared that they did not agree with the bill, but “chose not to take a public position on it because we thought we could be more effective working behind-the-scenes, engaging directly with lawmakers — on both sides of the aisle.”
Since the release of the formal complaint by LGBTQ+ employees, the same-sex kiss scene in Lightyear has been restored.