Disney’s new movie “Lightyear” comes out in theaters on June 17 but will not be showing in 14 Middle Eastern and Asian countries.
The film has been banned in these countries due to LGBTQ+ content, Reuters reported.
The animated movie depicts a same-sex couple who share a kiss, which led to the United Arab Emirates banning the film, NPR reported.
The film “is not licensed for public screening in all cinemas in the UAE, due to its violation of the country’s media content standards,” the UAE Media Regulatory Office tweeted on June 13.
The Media Regulatory Office announced that the animated film Lightyear, which is scheduled for release on 16th June, is not licensed for public screening in all cinemas in the UAE, due to its violation of the country’s media content standards. pic.twitter.com/f3iYwXqs1D
— مكتب تنظيم الإعلام (@uaemro) June 13, 2022
But the UAE is not alone in banning the movie due to the LGBTQ+ content.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia and Lebanon are also not showing the movie, according to Reuters.
In the UAE and these other Muslim-led countries homosexuality is illegal.
Disney had been down this path before in May when Saudi Arabia and some other Middle Eastern countries did not allow “Doctor Strange and the Mutliverse of Madness” to show due to some same-sex references, which Disney refused to cut out.
But the biggest market that is banning “Lightyear” is China.
In the past China has rejected on-screen depictions of homosexuality, and this time seems to be no different.
A “Lightyear” producer told Reuters that Chinese authorities had asked Disney to make cuts to the movie. But Disney declined.
“We’re not going to cut out anything, especially something as important as the loving and inspirational relationship that shows Buzz what he’s missing by the choices that he’s making, so that’s not getting cut,” producer Galyn Susman told Reuters.
So the producer assumes that the movie will not open in China either, which is the world’s largest movie market.
The movie “Lightyear” is a prequel to Pixar’s famous “Toy Story” movies and goes into the story of the space ranger, Buzz Lightyear.
In this movie, one of Buzz’s close friends is a female space ranger who is married to a woman.
One scene in the movie shows the female couple sharing a brief kiss, Reuters reported.
However, Disney does not seem to be concerned about the movie being banned in China, despite its large market.
One source told Reuters that China is not a “make or break” market for Pixar movies, and in 2019, the country only contributed 3 percent to the global box office total for “Toy Story 4.”
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