Disney CEO Bob Chapek has come under fire after the company’s significant contributions to some Florida lawmakers. Specifically, those who authored and sponsored the state’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Disney employees- allies and members of the LGBTQ+ community- did not stand down.
Following a company-wide walkout protest, a same-sex kiss that was once edited out of Pixar’s upcoming “Lightyear” has been restored.
Character Hawthorne, voiced by Uzo Aduba, is shown in a meaningful relationship with another woman. Variety assures the relationship was “never in question at the studio,” but a kiss between the characters was cut early on from the film.
The kiss is probably a peck on the cheek, which would be appropriate for a kid’s film. But it’s also between two women. Disney is still uncomfortable no doubt about showing men be affectionate with each other, which they have hinted at in other films.
Almost all the films Disney released that have showed even a small amount of same-sex affection have been between women. In 2020’s “Onward,” the police officer voiced by Lena Waithe mentions her girlfriend. In “Toy Story 4″ which released in 2019, two moms are shown hugging their child when dropping them off at school. There’s even a scene in “Finding Dory” where there is the possibility of a lesbian couple shown, though at that time filmmakers neither confirmed or denied it. It could have also been just two friends out for a walk. And of course, the same sex kiss in “Star Trek: The Rise of Skywalker.”
Many people consider “Luca” to be a metaphor for coming out. In the film “Luca” there are two seamonster boys who can transform into humans but when they get wet, revert back to their original form. The entire movie is them trying to hide their true selves from the humans so that they can achieve their dream of getting a Vespa. While it does appear that Alberto may like Luca in that way, the film does not confirm it. We can only guess at how jealous he gets when Luca finds a new friend in Giulia and he feels like Luca is outgrowing him.
There are numerous LGBTQ films on Disney+, such as “Out,” a Pixar short about a gay man coming out to his family. Disney’s Launchpad also has a great story about a lesbian vampire who’s coming to terms with who she is as a person called “Growing Fangs.”
Hopefully this is just the start of a bigger change that Disney incorporates into their media.
“Lightyear” is set to release on June 17th, 2022.