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A movie theater will not fast-forward a same-sex kiss in ‘Lightyear’ after all


By Harmeet Kaur, CNN

A movie theater in Oklahoma has removed a warning sign it initially posted about a same-sex kiss in the new Disney/Pixar film “Lightyear.”

The notice outside of the 89er Theater in Kingfisher cautioned parents about a scene that depicts two female characters sharing a brief kiss, according to CNN affiliate KTUL.

“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,” the sign read. “We will do all we can to fast forward through that scene, but it might not be exact.”

Barry Reid, one of the owners of the theater, told CNN that the sign had been removed and that the scene had not been censored in any showings.

“It was an internal mistake and it’s been corrected,” he said. “It won’t happen again.”

“Lightyear,” a spinoff of the beloved “Toy Story” franchise, tells the origin story of the legendary space ranger Buzz Lightyear, who inspired the toy in the original films. That the film features a same-sex kiss is notable for Disney, which has long shied away from portraying explicitly LGBTQ+ characters. In fact, the kiss was met with pushback inside the studio and had initially been cut from the film, according to the Hollywood Reporter. It was restored as the company came under fire for its lukewarm response to Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill — which bans certain instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in the classroom and has inspired similar bills in other states.

Several countries, including Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have banned “Lightyear” from theaters over its inclusion of the same-sex kiss. CNN has reached out to Disney for comment.

GLAAD, an organization that advocates for nuanced LGBTQ+ representation in media, has called attempts to censor the scene unacceptable.

“Lightyear is a great addition to the recent progress seen in kids and family films, TV series, and books that represent all families, including families with LGBTQ parents,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement. “Alisha is an inspiring and heroic character who is a good friend to Buzz, a brave Space Ranger, a loving wife, and a great mom and grandmother. Kids with two moms will see a family like theirs in this film. We’re happy to see Disney standing firmly behind their LGBTQ storytelling.”

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