Chris Evans responds to criticism of 'Lightyear' same-sex kiss scene, calls critics 'IDIOTS'
The new Pixar animated movie ‘Lightyear’ was banned in the United Arab Emirates because it depicts homosexuality. The film is a prequel to the acclaimed 'Toy Story' franchise and has Chris Evans voicing the lead character, Buzz Lightyear, a legendary space ranger.
According to reports, The United Arab Emirates said a same-sex kiss scene in 'Lightyear' violated the country’s media content standards and hence the Pixar film won't be released there. Moreover, Disney has been unable to secure permission to show it in thirteen other Middle Eastern and Asian countries, including Saudi Arabia. Representatives of these countries did not immediately respond to requests for comment on why they would not allow the film to be exhibited. Earlier this year, the Disney/Marvel movie 'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness' was also denied a release in Saudi Arabia and other countries over featuring an LGBT+ character.
Lightyear's controversial scene involving the kissing scene revolves around Buzz’s (Chris Evans) close friend, Hawthorne (Uzo Aduba) a female space ranger who marries another woman. A scene showing milestones in the couple’s relationship includes a brief kiss. Initially, Disney had decided to cut off the same-sex kiss but later restored it in the movie after a public backlash. The staff had released an open letter criticizing Disney’s response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill that barred conversations about LGBTQ identity in K-12 classrooms.
Chris Evans slams critics
Actor Chris Evans, who voices Buzz, the main character in the new Pixar animated movie 'Lightyear', has responded to the controversy. In an interview with Reuters Television, Evans praises the depiction of a gay couple and said that those who react negatively should be disregarded. He calls film and TV viewers who oppose diversity and more inclusive on-screen representation "idiots". “There’s always going to be people who are afraid and unaware and trying to hold on to what was before. But those people die off like dinosaurs,” Evans said. “I think the goal is to pay them no mind, march forward and embrace the growth that makes us human.” "Every time there’s been social advancement as we wake up, the American story, the human story is one of constant social awakening and growth and that’s what makes us good," he added.
On the other hand, 'Lightyear' made on a budget of $200 million is expected to be a major draw for Disney, with analysts estimating it could gross more than $10 million in its first weekend. Three years after releasing the critically acclaimed 'Toy Story 4', the franchise is back with another spinoff. 'Lightyear' tells the tale of the "real" Buzz Lightyear as he teams up with fresh Star Command recruits for a daring mission. Chris Evans takes over for Tim Allen as the voice of the titular character, once again channeling his heroic onscreen persona.
'Lightyear' is set to debut in theatres in the United States and Canada on June 17, Friday.