Disney adds same-sex kiss to Lightyear animated film in response to Fla. bill

by Trinity Cardinal

Chris Lange, FISM News


Formerly family-friendly Walt Disney Company has once again chosen to serve as a mouthpeace for progressive ideology, most recently in the form of restoring a scene involving a same-sex kiss that has been added back to upcoming Disney-Pixar film Lightyear after having been relegated to the cutting room floor, according to a report in Variety.

The move follows the issuance of a joint statement by LGBTQ+ Pixar Animation Studios employees in which they claim Disney executives deliberately censor “overtly gay affection” in its feature films.

“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,” the letter states. “Even if creating LGBTQIA+ content was the answer to fixing the discriminatory legislation in the world, we are being barred from creating it.”

The decision to restore the scene in the Toy Story prequel also comes on the heels of uproar surrounding Disney’s perceived milquetoast response to the passage of Florida’s Parental Rights in Educations” legislation, deceptively dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” by its detractors, which bars schools from introducing gender ideology curriculum to young children through the third grade. 

The inclusion of a same-sex kiss in Lightyear would represent the first overt LGBTQ+ representation in a Disney film. 2020’s Onward included the character of a lesbian police officer; however, her romantic partner was never seen. Still, the film was banned in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Lightyear, featuring the voice of Chris Evans as the central character, will be released in June.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek had been relatively silent on the controversial legislation until a heavy barrage of criticism compelled him to apologize for his silence and express Disney’s “unwavering commitment to the LGBTQ+ community” in an internal memo obtained by Variety, adding that a public statement could be “weaponized.” 

He also announced that the company would pause all political donations in Florida following a Feb. 25 Orlando Sentinel report revealing that Disney had contributed to the bill’s sponsors, sparking employee-staged walk-out protests set to take place all week, with a full-day protest slated for Tuesday. 

“In terms of our communities, we are and will continue to be a leader in supporting organizations that champion diversity,” Chapek wrote, going on to recount Disney’s multi-million-dollar donations to LGBTQ+ organizations and support for “important events like Pride parades.”

“We know the moment requires urgency – and words are not enough,” Chapek said in separate remarks obtained by Reuters

According to Disney’s Chief Human Resources Officer Paul Richardson, the company has canceled a leadership meeting in Orlando next month and replaced it with a diversity event billed as a “listening session” as part of a “global listening tour” on social equity issues.

Disney also announced that it has established an LGBTQ+ task force to ensure the company is a “force for good” for the LGBTQ+ community.

The company further promised to support the Human Rights Campaign’s fight against Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order mandating that the state’s child welfare agency treat gender-affirming medical interventions in children as child abuse.