Up to 14 countries across Asia and the Middle East are reportedly denying permission for the kid’s film to be shown, due to a same-sex kiss.Indonesia is not outright banning it, but they are suggesting “the owner of the movie think about their audience in Indonesia where an LGBT kissing scene is still considered sensitive”. Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.Next door, the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia has refused to screen the movie without cuts. China — the world’s largest movie market — is also reportedly unlikely to screen the film.Homosexuality is still criminalised in many Middle Eastern countries, so it’s not surprising United Arab Emirates (UAE) released a tweet from its Media Regulatory Office of the country’s Ministry of Youth and Culture stating the film “is not licensed for public screening in all cinemas in the UAE, due to its violation of the country’s media content standards”.For their part, Disney has so far refused to make any changes. So what is all the fuss about?Lightyear, directed by Angus MacLane of Finding Dory, is a sci-fi action-adventure based on the fictional film in Toy Story from which Andy’s Buzz Lightyear toy came from. It follows the story of Buzz Lightyear, a space ranger desperately trying to rectify a mistake and get his people off an alien planet.The subplot? His best friend and commanding officer, Alisha Hawthorne, stays behind to lead the colony from the ground. While she does so, we watch her great joy as she falls in love and raises a family. The ‘controversial’ kiss? A quick peck between Hawthorne and her wife.That being said, it’s not like Disney hasn’t stirred plenty of its own controversy around how it treats the LGBTQI+ community.Earlier this year, when Florida introduced it’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, The Walt Disney company was heavily criticised for not speaking out against it — despite being a company that prides itself on a LGBTQI+-friendly culture.After Disney workers staged walkouts in protest, as well as pressure form the public, Disney CEO Bob Chapek finally denounced the law.
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