Variety has reported on a controversy from Disney regarding a same-sex kiss that was cut out of the film Lightyear and has since been re-added. Lightyear is a film starring Chris Evans about the character of Buzz Lightyear. Unlike the toy version seen in the Toy Story franchise, Lightyear focuses on the human space ranger. One of the characters in the upcoming film, Hawthorne, who is played by Uzo Aduba, is shown to have an intimate relationship with another woman.
Employees at Pixar mentioned the kiss between these two women being cut out of the film as part of a broader protest of Disney’s lack of response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. This piece of legislation shifts rules regarding education in Florida. The most pressing addendum to this bill reads, “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.” This bill restricts discussion of LGBTQ+ topics in Florida schools.
Disney is known as a progressive company but did not publicly speak out against the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Critics of Disney have noted that the location of Disney World in Florida could be a possible reason for the company being wary of criticizing the state’s government. Disney also benefitted from a $570 million tax break in building a new company campus within the state of Florida. It has been confirmed that the same-sex kiss will still be in the film Lightyear.