Disney’s Pixar announced that it will include a same-sex kiss in the upcoming animated film Lightyear amid outcry from the gay community.
The movie, which is scheduled for debut on June 17, will feature the affectionate moment between two female characters who are in a relationship, Variety reports.
Pixar’s LGBTQ employees reportedly sent a letter to Disney CEO Bob Chapek condemning his original decision to cut the scene, along with other “overtly gay affection” from previous Pixar films.
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“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 letter reads. “Even if creating LGBTQIA+ content was the answer to fixing the discriminatory legislation in the world, we are being barred from creating it.”
An unnamed source told Variety that the film – which stars Chris Evans as the inspiration for the Toy Story character Buzz Lightyear – features a character named Hawthorne, voiced by actress Uzo Aduba, who is in a relationship with another woman.
Some of the angry employees even lashed out at Chapek for not immediately denouncing recent legislation approved by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) that regulates sex education in public elementary schools.
The Parental Rights in Education bill says schools can’t teach curriculum on sexual orientation and gender identity to very young children from kindergarten to third grade. Leftist groups and biased media outlets have mischaracterized the measure, calling it the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
In a recent memo to staff, Chapek reassured his employees that Disney stands behind members of the gay community.
“I want to be crystal clear: I and the entire leadership team unequivocally stand in support of our LGBTQ+ employees, their families, and their communities,” the memo says. “And, we are committed to creating a more inclusive company — and world.”
The Disney CEO also pointed out the company will donate $5 million to groups that promote LGBTQ ideology.
“You needed me to be a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights and I let you down. I am sorry,” Chapek said in a follow-up message to his staff.
LGBTQ workers at Disney issued a response last week in the form of an open letter: “While we certainly appreciate Bob Chapek’s apology note, there is still more work to be done.”
In the letter, they announced a series of protests leading up to a full walkout on March 22 along with a list of steps for Disney to initiate in order to “regain trust of the LGBTQIA+ community and employees.”
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