“Lightyear” is banned in some countries for same-sex kissing, the report said

The upcoming Disney and Pixar animated film Lightyear will not be released in theaters in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and other countries in the Middle East and Asia because there is a same-sex kiss in the film, a variety report.

In the prequel movie Toy Story, there is a kiss between a gay female space ranger named Alisha and her partner, the report said. Films containing LGBTQ+ characters or even references to them are often censored or banned outright in many Middle Eastern countries because homosexuality is illegal in those areas.

Separately, Reuters reported Monday that the film will be banned in 14 countries, including Egypt, Lebanon and Indonesia, and is unlikely to open in the world’s largest film market, China.

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had similar theatrical blockages for his recent films “The Eternals” that existed locked in the area for his portrayal of a same-sex couple and the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first openly gay superhero; and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which features the character America Chavez, a lesbian heroine first appeared in Marvel Comics in 2011.

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Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, as well as other countries around the Persian Gulf, have also censored the West Side Story films for including a transgender characterand Pixar’s “Onward” via a Note on lesbian parents. According to the , the ban on these films applies to theatrical releases in these countries Hollywood reporter.

Disney did not immediately respond to MarketWatch’s request for comment.

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The United Arab Emirates, through its media regulator at the country’s Ministry of Youth and Culture, said the film would not be released in cinemas in the country this week.

“‘Lightyear’ … is not licensed for public screening in all cinemas in the UAE as it violates the country’s media content standards,” the office said in a tweet. “The Office confirms that all films released in cinemas across the country are subject to tracking and assessment prior to the date of public release to ensure the safety of the content circulated according to the appropriate age classification.”

The “Lightyear” movie, starring Chris Evans, is still slated for a June 17 release in the US. “Lightyear” is banned in some countries for same-sex kissing, the report said

Brian Lowry

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