Woke 'Lightyear' film with lesbian kiss flops at box office

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Lightyear, a Disney film giving Toy Story fans the chance to experience the backstory of Buzz Lightyear, failed to take off after a series of controversies surrounding a lesbian kiss scene. Despite Disney positioning the film for success by debuting Lightyear as their first theater-only movie in over a year, the film flopped at the box office bringing in nearly $20 million less than the projected $70 million for opening weekend.

The Los Angeles Times summarizes the film’s plot by saying that Buzz Lightyear “becomes so fixated on undoing a mistake that derailed his mission and the lives of his shipmates that he refuses to slow down enough to notice that he’s missing out on all other aspects of life.”

Ironically, the fate of Lightyear seems to have gotten caught up in the same predicament as Buzz himself, with an incredible fixation on undoing a mistake that they missed out on box office success. The film had cut a lesbian kiss scene, but after Disney faced backlash for not opposing Ron DeSantis’s bill to keep talks of sexuality out of elementary classrooms– infamously dubbed the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill– Disney employees used the axed scene as fuel for accusations that the company wasn’t doing enough to be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. Following the uproar, the scene was restored, igniting fire from a new group of people who didn’t want issues of sexuality in children’s films.

However, outrage over the lesbian scene was not limited to concerned parents and according to the New York Times, the animated film is banned in at least 14 countries, primarily in the Middle East and Asia, because of the same-sex kiss.

The cast and crew of Lightyear have publicly defended and boasted about the controversial scene in interviews, with one of the film’s producers, Galyn Susman, saying, “Every kid when they watch a movie wants to see themselves on the screen and especially with the children who haven’t gotten to see very much of themselves, especially in animated films, just the thought that they can sit in the theater and say ‘Wow, that’s me. I feel seen, I feel represented,’ it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to do that.”

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