The accusation was part of a letter from LGBTQIA+ employees of Pixar and their allies as a wider reaction to the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill row.
According to Variety, the scene being restored is a kiss between Hawthorne, one of Buzz Lightyear’s fellow astronauts (played by Uzo Aduba), and her partner. The report also states that Hawthorne’s LGBTQIA+ status was always intended to be in the film, but that in a previous version, a kiss between the characters had been cut from the film.
This will be the first-ever same-gender kiss in a Pixar animation feature.
The letter from the Pixar staff had earlier said, “Nearly every moment of overtly gay affection is cut at Disney’s behest, regardless of when there is a protest from both the creative teams and executive leadership at Pixar.”
The statement was part of the response expressing dissatisfaction with Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s company-wide email addressing the criticism faced by the media giant for previously having donated money to all sponsors of the recently-passed legislation in Florida known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill. The company was also criticised for its lack of a strong public response to the bill, which limits discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity in schools.
Following the statement from the staff, demanding that Disney “immediately withdraw all financial support from the legislators behind the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill,” Chapek apologised to Disney’s LGBTQ+ employees, via another email, and said, “I missed the mark in this case but I am an ally you can count on — and I will be an outspoken champion for the protection, visibility, and opportunity you deserve.” He further announced that the media giant would pause all political donations in Florida while restructuring the framework of its political giving.
However, this failed to pacify Disney’s staff, who are protesting in person and virtually since Tuesday. “The recent statements by The Walt Disney Company (TWDC) leadership regarding the Florida legislature’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill have utterly failed to match the magnitude of the threat to LGBTQIA+ safety represented by this legislation,” the organisers stated, on the newly launched website whereischapek.com.
The website also lists a set of demands, including publicly committing to an actionable plan to protect employees from such hateful legislation and rather than pausing, indefinitely ceasing all campaign donations to the politicians involved in the creation and passage of the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill.
Meanwhile, Lightyear is scheduled for theatrical release on June 17. The film is directed by Angus MacLane, with Buzz voiced by Chris Evans and a supporting cast of Taika Waititi, Keke Palmer, Peter Sohn, and James Brolin.