Pixar’s upcoming Toy Story prequel will now feature a same-sex kiss after an uproar from employees over Florida’s parental rights in education bill, which has been misleadingly dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by those who oppose it.
The film, Lightyear, follows Buzz Lightyear, who will be voiced by Chris Evans.
However, a character named Hawthorne, voiced by Uzo Aduba, will be portrayed in a “meaningful” relationship with another female character.
The relationship was never removed from the film, but the kiss was.
On March 9, according to a report from Variety, Disney employees sent a letter stating that “Disney executives had actively censored ‘overtly gay affection’ in its feature films,” which are made for children — and expressed discontent that CEO Bob Chapek did not do more to oppose the Florida legislation.
“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. Nearly every moment of overtly gay affection is cut at Disney’s behest, regardless of when there is protest from both the creative teams and executive leadership at Pixar,” they wrote.
“Nearly every moment of overtly gay affection is cut at Disney’s behest, regardless of when there is protest from both the creative teams and executive leadership at Pixar,” the statement said. “Even if creating LGBTQIA+ content was the answer to fixing the discriminatory legislation in the world, we are being barred from creating it.”
The letter did not specifically call out Lightyear, but the kiss was reinstated after the outrage.
The decision to not include overtly LGBT characters in the children’s movies may not have to do with American audiences.
The report notes that “the inclusion of a one-eyed lesbian cop in ‘Onward’ was enough to ban the film in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia; and the version released in Russia swapped the word ‘girlfriend’ with the word ‘partner.'”
The movie is scheduled to be released on June 17.