More than a dozen Muslim-majority countries have banned Disney’s new animated film Lightyear, in which two female characters kiss, from their theaters. As the AFP news agency learned on Tuesday from circles close to the entertainment group, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, among others, have not approved the offshoot from the “Toy Story” film series.
Disney has therefore refused to remove the scenes and wants to offer the film “as is” in all markets.
The United Arab Emirates’ regulator said on Monday that the film violated “the country’s standards for media content.” Six months ago, the United Arab Emirates had announced that they no longer wanted to censor international cinema films in the future. Instead, a minimum age restriction of 21 should be introduced for certain adult films. “Lightyear” has now been banned entirely.
In Malaysia, the film censorship board said the film could not be shown in the country unless cuts were made. “It is inappropriate to show the two scenes and they are not suitable for children,” said an official who asked not to be identified.
Other countries and territories where the film may not be shown include Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, the Palestinian Territories, Qatar and Syria.
Indonesia’s censorship board told AFP that it did not outright ban the film, “but advised the film’s promoters to think of their audiences in Indonesia, where an LGBT kissing scene is still considered sensitive.” Accordingly, Disney did not offer a cut version of “Lightyear”.
The film is slated to hit theaters worldwide on Thursday. Disney’s lesbian kiss was initially edited, according to reports. After protests from employees of the animation studio Pixar, which belongs to the entertainment group, it was reinserted.