Now the owner of the 89er Theater in Kingfisher, Oklahoma, a town of about 5,000 people about 50 miles northwest of Oklahoma City, has backed off on that promise. KOCO reported Tuesday that the owner said “they took down the sign and never really fast-forwarded through a showing of the film.”
The theater, which is independently owned, did not immediately respond to The Washington Post’s request for comment early Wednesday.
The same-sex couple “Lightyear” is part of a development at Pixar
“light year” is a prequel to the Toy Story franchise voiced by Chris Evans as Buzz Lightyear. The two-second scene in the PG-rated film features the character created by Uzo Aduba, Cmdr. Alisha Hawthorne, kiss her wife Kiko, This marked the first time there had been a same-sex kiss in a Pixar feature — a decision Evans told The Washington Post was “overdue.”
“It’s an excellent sign of the times that things are moving in the right direction, but there’s still a bitter aftertaste [when] considering the fact that it’s even worth discussing,” Evans said.
Although the studio was supportive of the same-sex relationship, the studio originally cut the scene, producer Galyn Susman told The Post. But it changed course after Disney employees commented on executives’ response to Florida’s Education Parental Rights Act, which critics referred to than the “don’t say gay” law. The legislation prohibits discussions or classes on LGBTQ issues in schools for children in kindergarten through third grade.
Variety reported in March that Pixar employees claimed that Disney supervisors “cut almost every moment of openly gay affection…regardless of when there are protests from both the creative teams and senior management at Pixar.”
The same-sex kiss in “Lightyear” has led to viewing bans in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Right-wing pundits have also blasted the studio, with some vowing to spend millions to produce their own children’s content.
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But many parents didn’t seem to care about the gay relationship on “Lightyear” — at least at the ’89 Theater.
In an interview with KOCO, a customer who took her two sons to see the film said the scene didn’t bother her.
“It wasn’t a big deal to watch,” said Jill Stuever. “It was about two seconds.”
Michael Cavna contributed to this report.