Pixar has reportedly restored a same-sex kiss shared between two characters in the forthcoming Lightyear, after staff released an open letter criticising Disney’s response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
The new animated film features Chris Evans as the voice of Buzz Lightyear and seeks to tell the origin story of the beloved Toy Story character and his journey to infinity and beyond.
In an exclusive report by Variety, a source close to the production has confirmed that a kiss between prominent female character Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba) and her female partner was reinstated last week.
While the nature of the characters’ relationship hadn’t been questioned by production, their kiss had reportedly been cut.
The news follows the release of an open letter on 9 March by Pixar staff and LGBTQ allies criticising Disney for having same-sex representation in its films “shaved down to crumbs”.
In the letter, staff further called on Disney to “immediately withdraw all financial support from the legislators behind the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill”.
Only a handful of LGBTQ characters have been incorporated in Pixar’s feature films. Notably, in 2020 film Onward, the main character Specter makes a reference to her girlfriend.
The same year, the studio released short film Out, about a closeted gay man’s struggle to come out to his parents.
In response to the Pixar staff letter, Out director Steven Hunt told Variety: “I stand by my colleagues. I’m really proud of those folks for speaking up.”
He added: “We can’t assume that these laws that they’re trying to put in place aren’t hurtful and bigoted and, frankly, evil. We are not going away. We’re not going back in the closet.”
Lightyear is scheduled to release in cinemas on 17 June.