Pixar’s latest film Lightyear has been creating quite the buzz about a particular scene where a woman astronaut named Alisha Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba) kisses her wife. While the movie has been banned in several Middle Eastern countries for the kiss, it’s getting the same treatment here in the United States.
The 89er Theatre in Kingfisher, Oklahoma posted a sign along with its poster for Lightyear that read: “Attention Parents: The management of this theatre discovered after booking ‘Lightyear’ that there is a same-sex kissing scene within the first 30 minutes of the Pixar movie. We will do all we can to fast-forward through that scene, but it might not be exact.”
According to NBC News, some viewers complained, not about the kiss, but about the poster.
“I told them that it was completely insulting for them to censor a same-gender kiss when they’ve never done this to an opposite-gender kiss,” Oklahoma resident Patricia Kasbek said.
Kasbek had seen the sign on social media and thought it was a joke. When she realized it was real, she called the theater to complain, but just got voicemail. She also called the sign “bigoted” and “cruel” and said she plans on never visiting that theater again.
Alex Wade, the deputy director for Oklahomans for Equality also spoke to NBC about the issue.
“I am not shocked to see something like this happening in my state, but it does break my heart that young LGBTQ+ Oklahomans are made to feel like something is wrong with them,” he said. “This is why we develop chapters in rural Oklahoma to show everyone that there are people in their corner.”
“When same-sex couples show affection, even the most chaste of kisses, it is sexualized and treated as if it were explicit,” he continued. “If this were a heterosexual couple, the theater would never even think of skipping it, because heterosexual couples are given the grace to be intimate without being shamed.”
Disney itself had originally censored the kiss, removing it in a previous cut of the film. The studio added the kiss back into the movie after backlash from it’s donations to Republicans who sponsored Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill and after it was leaked that the studio had been censoring attempts to portray “overtly gay affection” in its movies.
The sign has reportedly been taken down.