Disney ‘reinstates same-sex kiss’ in Toy Story prequel Lightyear after ‘internal backlash from staff’
A same-sex kiss cut from upcoming Toy Story spin-off Lightyear has been restored, according to reports.
The Disney-Pixar animated prequel starring Chris Evans includes a relationship between two female characters – one voiced by Emmy winner Uzo Aduba.
Uproar from staff followed a decision to remove the kiss from the film, with claims Disney had worked to censor “overtly gay affections”.
“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,” read a joint statement from staff.
The allegations, according to Variety, were part of a larger protest over the company’s response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
The kiss has reportedly been re-added to the film with Walt Disney Co, trying to quell an internal uproar over its reluctance to publicly oppose the Florida bill barring schools from discussing gender issues with young children, planning to discuss the legislation with employees.
The discussion will look at how the bill, which is expected to be signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, may impact families of employees.
Disney plans to move about 2,000 workers from California to a new campus in the state.
The legislation is contentious. Supporters say it gives parents control over how their kids are introduced to subjects such as gender identity, while critics say it’s a threat to children and basic human rights. Opponents call it the Don’t Say Gay bill.
Chief executiv Bob Chapek initially held that Disney wouldn’t take a public position on the bill – saying that public stands on controversial issues often get “weaponised”.
He changed course amid widespread employee discontent with that decision and apologised to workers for not taking a stand earlier.
Lightyear is an origin story for Buzz Lightyear. It is due for release in mid-June.