Now, the owner of 89er Theatre in Kingfisher, Okla., a town of about 5,000 people approximately 50 miles northwest of Oklahoma City, has walked back that promise. KOCO reported Tuesday that the owner said “they took the sign down and never actually fast-forwarded through any showing of the movie.”
The theater, which is independently owned, did not immediately respond to The Washington Post’s request for comment early Wednesday.
“Lightyear” is a prequel to the “Toy Story” franchise that features the voice of Chris Evans as Buzz Lightyear. The two-second scene in the PG-rated movie shows the character voiced by Uzo Aduba, Cmdr. Alisha Hawthorne, kiss her wife, Kiko, marking the first time there has 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 you can’t help but feel like there’s bitter aftertaste [when] acknowledging the fact it is even worthy of discussion,” Evans said.
Despite being 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 spoke out about executives’ response to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, which critics have referred to as the “don’t say gay” law. The legislation bans discussions or lessons on LGBTQ issues in schools for children in kindergarten through third grade.
Variety reported in March that Pixar employees alleged that higher-ups at Disney were cutting “nearly every moment of overtly gay affection … regardless of when there is protest from both the creative teams and executive leadership 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 slammed the studio, with some vowing to spend millions to produce their own children’s content.
But many parents haven’t seemed to care about the gay relationship in “Lightyear” — at least at 89er Theatre.
In an interview with KOCO, one customer who took her two sons to see the film said the scene didn’t bother her.
“Watching it, it was no big deal,” Jill Stuever said. “It was like two seconds.”
Michael Cavna contributed to this report.