Disney continues to do damage control following reports that the company donated to every sponsor of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. After Pixar staff publicly accused the House of Mouse of censoring gay affection in their films last week, Variety has learned that a previously-cut same-sex kiss has been restored to Lightyear.
Lightyear is a Pixar origin tale starring Chris Evans as the astronaut upon which the Buzz Lightyear action figure in Toy Story is based. Uzo Aduba co-stars as the character Hawthorne, an astronaut in a relationship with another woman. While the movie reportedly always treated her romantic partnership as serious, a kiss between the characters had been cut. Now, it’s back in the film.
It’s the latest attempt by Disney to win back LGBTQ+ fans after the company’ routine support of Florida Republicans put them on the wrong side of one of the most bigoted pieces of legislation being debated in America today. The “Don’t Say Gay” bill, officially known as the The Parental Rights in Education bill, prevents Florida educators from discussing issues of gender and sexuality in the classroom while encouraging parents to sue schools and teachers.
Initially, Disney CEO Bob Chapek sought to distance the company from the bill while defending the donations as the cost of operating a theme park in Florida. “While we have not given money to any politician based on this issue, we have contributed to both Republican and Democrat legislators who have subsequently taken positions on both sides of the legislation,” he said.