Lightyear’s producer has confirmed there was pushback on a moment in Pixar’s new movie: more details here.
It’s been around three months since a group of unnamed Pixar representatives made public their frustrations regarding Disney censoring LGBTQ+ images in Pixar films. The group claimed that Disney repeatedly cut onscreen ‘overtly gay affection’ which caused quite the stir online. Whilst no further details were shared at the time, it’s now been confirmed the the latest dispute in this area was over Lightyear, Pixar’s Toy Story spin-off that releases in the UK this week.
Whilst creative differences between the two studios have no doubt reared their head in the past, frustrations regarding Pixar’s inability to meaningfully present LGBTQ+ material in its stories caused a group of unnamed employees to anonymously speak out against their parent company. An open letter to Disney CEO, Bob Chapek, stated that ‘nearly every moment of overtly gay affection is cut at Disney’s behest, regardless of when there is protest from both the creative teams and executive leadership at Pixar.’
Whatever sequences remain in Pixar’s films are, according to the statement, ‘shaved down to crumbs’.
The controversy came to light during Disney’s reluctance to publicly address the controversial and homophobic ‘Don’t say gay’ bill in Florida, which made the issue a double barrelled PR disaster for the company.
Galyn Susman, a producer for Lightyear, the Buzz Lightyear origin movie has spoken about the issue, stating “they [Disney] were all supportive of that,” referring to the lesbian relationship featured in the film. However, when it came to the characters in question demonstrating their feelings on screen via a kiss, Susman recalled, “but there was definite pushback on having that kiss.”
Disney employees went on strike, Pixar employees went public with their frustrations and pressure mounted both within the company and from external sources. Eventually, the kiss was restored. “We got the opportunity to put it back in and that was really exciting,” Susman added. Hopefully, it’s an experience that Disney have learned from and they won’t have to endure a wave of negative public opinion in the future, before doing the right thing.
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