Pixar’s Lightyear banned in Malaysia, U.A.E. and Malaysia over same-sex kiss | #socialmedia

Keeping in line with strict censorship rules, movies containing sex, homosexuality, and religious issues are often cut in the West Asia region.

The Toy Story spinoff will not be gracing screens in Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., and Kuwait, among other West Asian territories, due to its inclusion of a same-sex kiss, as reported by Variety.

The scene in question, involves Alisha, a lesbian space ranger, and her partner greeting each other with a kiss.

It had originally been cut from the film by Disney, but it was reinstated when Pixar animators spoke out against Disney in an open letter obtained by Variety, saying that Disney had demanded cuts, censoring “overtly gay affection” and in protest against Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s handling of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

According to Variety, Lightyear had been initially approved for release in the U.A.E., where censorship restrictions are beginning to loosen up.

However, in an unfortunate setback, the license to play the film in the UAE was abruptly revoked after social media accused Disney and Lightyear of insulting Muslim people and Islam.

Saudi Arabia’s strict censorship laws have also kept audiences from watching Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, for their inclusion of a gay character.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange in Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

In the West Asia region movies concerning or containing sex, homosexuality, and religious issues are routinely cut to keep in line with such censorship rules.

It has also been confirmed that the film will also not release in Malaysia, the Southeast Asian country that is becoming less aligned with western values.

The country’s censorship authority, the LPF, takes a strongly negative stance against any film containing themes, dialogue, or scenes involving “homosexual and unnatural sex,” as reported by Variety.

It is understood that the LPF asked for edits to the film but Disney refused to make them.

Sources close to the distributor say that Disney respects local censorship guidelines and has withdrawn its attempt to have the film approved for theatrical release.

Malaysia has recently had similar issues regarding scenes in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore and Rocket Man.

In recent days, it has also emerged that Malaysia’s LPF banned “May You Stay Forever Young,” a dramatization of events in Hong Kong in 2019-20 when millions of people protested in favor of democracy.

The story involves a search for a woman protestor is threatening to kill herself.

The LPF gave six reasons for banning the film. These included the film’s depiction of violent protests that could give “unhealthy teachings” to Malaysian audiences and the desire not to harm relations with China.

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