A producer for the upcoming Pixar movie Lightyear has opened up about the project’s same-sex kiss.
During the Disney Investor Day event in 2020, the company revealed that a Toy Story spin-off following everyone’s favourite space cadet was in the works.
Two years after the initial announcement, fans were treated to the film’s first trailer, which featured Avengers star Chris Evans voicing the titular character.
The teaser also introduced an array of new additions, including a queer space cadet named Alicia Hawthorne (Uzo Aduba).
Alongside the film’s inclusion of a new openly queer character, Lightyear is also set to feature the studio’s first same-sex kiss – which was recently reinstated.
During a press screening for the film, producer Galyn Susman gave further insight into the groundbreaking moment.
“Yes. We have a kiss. You saw it in the version of the film you all saw before this Q&A. We’ve always had the lesbian couple,” she explained.
“They’ve always been a part of the film. Being able to put back the kiss was important to us. It’s a touching moment.”
She went on to say that the moment is also set to have a positive effect on Buzz Lightyear.
“It helps Buzz to see what it is that he’s [missing]. It’s the life that’s being lived in front of him by his best friend that he’s not having. He doesn’t have those kinds of relationships,” she added.
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Susman isn’t the only creative from the Lightyear team that has expressed excitement over the film’s LGBTQ+ representation.
In an additional interview with Looper, director Angus MacLane described the kiss as necessary.
“We wanted the characters to be essential to the movie and not be a superfluous thing,” he said. “If anything, baking that into the story was something that was necessary and also really functional for us.”
The recent revelations from Susman and MacLane come a couple of months after Pixar’s LGBTQ+ employees called out Disney amidst the ongoing backlash of Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill.
In the lengthy statement released on 9 March, the group accused the company of censoring LGBTQ+ moments from numerous films.
“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,” they wrote.
“Nearly every moment of overtly gay affection is cut at Disney’s behest, regardless of when there is protest from both the creative teams and executive leadership at Pixar.”
In response to the open letter, Chapek released a company-wide email on 11 March and apologised to Disney’s queer staff.