Lightyear has generated an intense public debate about the representation of the LGBTQ+ community in animated shows meant for children. Both Pixar and Disney have been criticised for attempting to censor LGBTQ+ relationships in their projects which has resulted in a widespread public backlash against the studios.
In a recent interview, Lightyear producer Galyn Susman revealed that there were a lot of discussions about that scene in meetings. While Disney was very supportive of the inclusion of a lesbian couple, they weren’t as enthusiastic about the same-sex kiss scene that the creators had wanted to include in the film.
“They were all supportive of that,” Susman said, pointing out that Disney executives were not willing to go along with the idea of putting the same-sex kiss scene in there. The producer revealed that multiple discussions were conducted regarding that scene: “There was definite pushback on having that kiss.”
After the protest from employees regarding censorship, Disney decided to include the scene which resulted in the film getting banned from 14 different countries due to pro-LGBTQ+ themes. In the same interview, director Angus MacLane discussed some of the primary themes of the entire series.
“There’s the white saviour narrative and there’s the teamwork narrative,” the director commented. “So what I wanted to do was marry both of those ideas with someone that was convinced that they were the hero and who ultimately recognises that they were sold something that wasn’t useful. I think that really is one of the biggest challenges of our time.”