The film joins Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, West Side Story, and Eternals on a growing list of iconic Disney films that have been censored in the Gulf because they contain LGBT materials.
In Disney’s battle with Gulf censors, a new chapter has been added.
It is reported that the studio’s latest film, Lightyear, has been banned in a number of Middle Eastern nations, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
According to reports, the decision is tied to Pixar’s Toy Story prequel spin-inclusion off’s of a same-sex kiss. The scene, which displays the female character Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba) and her partner, was originally cut from the film but was reinstated following outrage over a Pixar employee statement accusing that Disney had been trying to censor “overtly gay affection” and Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s processing Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
The UAE’s Media Regulatory Office declared on June 13 that the film, which was set to be released on June 16, had been denied a public screening license because it “violated the country’s media content requirements.”
Lightyear joins a long list of Disney films that have suffered censorship in Gulf nations due to sequences including LGBTQ allusions or concerns, which frequently fall foul of censors for theatrical distribution due to homosexuality being banned in the area.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was denied a theatrical license in April, purportedly owing to the inclusion of the character America Chavez (played by Xochitl Gomez), who is homosexual in the comics.
This came after Chloé Zhao’s Eternals was banned in parts of the Gulf in November due to the inclusion of same-gender marriage and the MCU’s first homosexual superhero in the film. It is believed at the time that censors had sought a number of changes that Disney was unwilling to make. However, in the United Arab Emirates, a different version was aired.
West Side Story was also banned in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain in January. At the time, it was claimed that censors had requested a number of adjustments that Disney refused to make. In the United Arab Emirates, however, a different version was aired. In January, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait all banned West Side Story.