Last week, a group of Pixar employees sent a statement to the Walt Disney Company that both voiced their concern and sounded the whistle about the animation studio’s active attempts to censor “overtly gay affection” in feature-length products.
The timing of the statement came just as Disney faced mounting criticism for its public response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
As a result of both controversies, according to Variety, sources close to production on the upcoming Pixar film Lightyear have come forward to claim that a previously censored same-sex kiss in it has been restored.
More specifically, a kiss between a character named Hawthorne (voiced by Emmy award-winning actress Uzo Aduba) and her female significant other has been re-added.
As Deadline points out, the decision is a major win for the LGBTQ community, which has struggled to receive honest and fair representation in the animation medium for as long as it has existed. You might recall, the last LGBTQ character in a Pixar film (Onward) wasn’t even human.
The sci-fi action-adventure presents the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear, the hero who inspired the toy, introducing the legendary Space Ranger who would win generations of fans.
Unlike Pixar’s other, recently released project, Turning Red, Lightyear is expected to be release in theaters nationwide on June 17, 2022.
Joining the Aduba and the previously announced Chris Evans (Avengers: Endgame), who lends his voice to Buzz, is Keke Palmer (Hustlers), Dale Soules (Orange is the New Black) and Taika Waititi (Free Guy, Thor: Ragnarok) as a group of ambitious recruits. Peter Sohn (Monster’s University) voices Buzz’s robot companion, Sox, James Brolin (The Amityville Horror), Mary McDonald-Lewis (G.I. Joe), Efren Ramirez (Napoleon Dynamite) and Isiah Whitlock Jr (Da 5 Bloods).