Chris Evans Shuts Down 'Lightyear' Lesbian Character Criticism
by Camille Bavera
16 June 2022
Chris Evans may have played an ancient "Winter Soldier" in Captain America, but the actor's Buzz Lightyear is far and away one of the more progressive Disney-Pixar playthings to-date. His latest mission? Ushering the heteronormative cinematic universe to better reflect our more progressive society.
After a same-sex kissing scene involving Buzz's partner Alisha was met with criticism from various corners of the internet, Evans, who voices the titular role in the upcoming film Lightyear, took to social media expressing support of the character choice.
“The real truth is those people are idiots,” Evans said. “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.”
Unfortunately, not all theaters agree with Evans' sentiments. After Pixar announced that it was re-inserting the kissing scene (following plans to cut it out of the film in March), several countries in western Asian territories, including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE among others made known their distaste, refusing to play the film altogether. The same countries also refused to play the film Onward back in 2020 because of a female character's “girlfriend” mention. According to Variety, when Russia dubbed the film, they changed the word to “partner” before releasing to movie theaters.
“There’s always going to be people who are afraid and unaware and trying to hold on to what was before, but those people die off like dinosaurs,” said Evans. “I think the goal is to pay them no mind, march forward and embrace the growth that makes us human.”
Disney and Pixar have been edging towards a more 21st-century-friendly cartoon world. Their most recent film, Turning Red, was as close to modern-day life as they’ve gotten so far, with themes like puberty, menstruation and the discovery of blossoming romantic and sexual feelings at the forefront.
Of course, the film wasn't without controversy. Soon after, a statement by Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek explained the desire to create “a more inclusive world” amidst the passing of Florida’s “Dont Say Gay” Bill, while at the same time declining to openly condemn the issue at hand. This led a host of LGBTQ employees and allies to write an open letter to Chapek, calling out his censorship of “overtly gay affection.”
“We at Pixar have personally witnessed beautiful stories, full of diverse characters, come back from Disney corporate reviews shaved down to crumbs of what they once were. Even if creating LGBTQIA+ content was the answer to fixing the discriminatory legislation in the world, we are being barred from creating it.” This has since prompted Chapek to amend his previous decision and make history by putting an openly same-sex scene in a Pixar cartoon. Hopefully, Lightyear will spark a new wave of creative bravery; after all, there’s enough beautiful diversity to create enough films to infinity... and beyond!
Lightyear opens in theaters June 17.
Photo via Getty/ Michael Tran/ FilmMagic