Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have banned Pixar’s Lightyear over a depiction of a same-gender kiss.
The UAE’s Media Regulatory Office announced June 13th that the animated film was not licensed for public screening, THR reports, due to its “violation of the country’s media content standards.” Sources in Saudi Arabia suggest that the country has reached a similar decision.
This bigoted response was inspired by the character of Hawthorne, voiced by Uzo Aduba, who shares a brief intimate moment with her partner. That same-gender kiss has been a point of contention for Disney and Pixar since the film was in development. Disney initially cut the kiss, but it was restored after Pixar staff publicly accused the House of Mouse of censoring gay affection in their films.
In the past, countries such as Egypt, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait have also censored films with LGBTQ+ storylines, though it’s not clear at this time if they’ve done the same for Lightyear. Other recent films to receive such a ban include Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, West Side Story, and Marvel’s Eternals.
Lightyear arrives in theaters this Friday, June 17th. Revisit the trailer now.