‘Those people will die off like dinosaurs’
Chris Evans has hit out at countries that have decided to ban Lightyear because of a same-sex kiss in the film.
So far, 14 countries have banned the film, which is the origin story of the character Buzz Lightyear.
Evans voices the young Buzz in the Toy Story spin-off. One of the storylines in the film revolves around a close friend of Buzz’s who is a female space range and who marries a woman.
One scene showing pivotal moments in the couple’s relationship includes a brief kiss between the two female characters.
Speaking about the countries that have banned the movie, the actor told Reuters: “The real truth is those people are idiots.
“Every time there’s been social advancement as we wake up, the American story, the human story is one of constant social awakening and growth and that’s what makes us good.”
He added: “There’s always going to be people who are afraid and unaware and trying to hold on to what was before.”
So far, Lightyear been banned in several Middle Eastern and Asian countries including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia and Lebanon.
On Monday, the UAE’s Media Regulatory Office said it was banning the film for its “violation of the country’s media content standards”. The office did not specifically mention the same-sex kiss as being the reason for the ban.
Evans said that countries who take issue with the film should now be ignored, and that eventually “these people die off like dinosaurs.” He encouraged people to “pay them no mind, march forward and embrace the growth that makes us human.”
He admitted to being “frustrated” that the kiss is even a topic of conversation, and that the goal is to “get to a point where it is the norm.”
The office confirms that all films screened in cinemas across the country are subject to follow-up and evaluation before the date of screening to the public, to ensure the safety of the circulated content according to the appropriate age classification.
— مكتب تنظيم الإعلام (@uaemro) June 13, 2022
The film has been rated PG by Western regulators.
But the kiss between the two female characters in the film had previously caused some controversy in the US, after it was initially removed from the film amid tensions around Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill.
This deemed the education of sexuality and gender identity as “not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”
But after a backlash from employees at Disney, who issued a letter to the company voicing their anger at the scene’s removal, it was eventually restored to the film.
Lightyear is due to be released in the US and UK on Friday, June 17.
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