OK Theater’s warning against same-sex kissing in ‘Lightyear’ sparks controversy

KINGFISHER, Oklahoma (KFOR) — A sign reportedly posted in the window of an Oklahoma theater sparked controversy this week after it delivered a message to parents: A same-sex kiss in Disney-Pixar’s ‘Lightyear’ would ” fast forward”. ”

The sign was reportedly put up at the 89-ER cinema in Kingfisher over the weekend and photos circulated on social media. KFOR later obtained a photo of the shield.

The Kiss is seen at the beginning of the CGI animated film and shows two women briefly kissing. It was banned in several other countries because of the scene.

The full sign reportedly read: “WARNING. Parents beware: The management of this theater discovered after booking Lightyear that there is a same-sex kissing scene within the first 30 minutes of the Pixar film. We will do everything we can to fast-forward through this scene, but it may not be accurate. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this latest scene discovery.”

A content warning sign for “Lightyear” was reportedly posted in the 89-ER theater (courtesy of Jacqueline Williams).

The theater’s signage was removed on Monday afternoon.

Local mom Jacqueline Williams said she saw a photo of the sign online when she was taking her son to see “Lightyear” at another theater.

“This poster [that] The Kingfisher theater post pissed me off a bit … I don’t want my kid to be scared of anyone, depending on who they love or what their orientation is,” Williams said. “And I feel like this poster is scary.”

Williams said it’s only the second time she’s seen a movie at a theater with her son. She told KFOR that it is their responsibility as parents to decide what their preschooler sees.

“I think there’s no choice for parents,” she said of the idea of ​​fast-forwarding the film. “If I take my kid to see the film, I probably know what the film is going to have and I will understand.”

She said she chosen take their child to see Lightyear.

Theater management declined to be interviewed by KFOR, nor did they respond to additional questions about the sign or whether they had posted similar warnings for other films in the past.

The other film showing in the theater, Jurassic World Dominion, is rated PG-13. No warning was issued before this film, although it contains several heterosexual kisses.

Williams says the kiss on “Lightyear” was an opportunity to teach a lesson rather than fuel fear and division.

Jacqueline Williams watches “Lightyear” with her son at another theater in Oklahoma (Courtesy Jacqueline Williams)

“It’s important to have conversations with them early on so you can help them navigate this world,” she said. “I don’t want my child to ever be afraid of anyone or less kind of someone because of their orientation or their love.”

“Lightyear” is rated “PG” or “Parental Guidance Suggested” because some materials may not be appropriate for children – meaning the content should be researched by parents in advance.

Movie ratings were introduced in 1968 under the Classification and Rating Administration (CARA) to help parents determine if a movie was appropriate for their children.

Lightyear is the fifth feature film in the Toy Story franchise, although it is the first spin-off. The film explores the early astronaut days of franchise hero Buzz Lightyear, voiced by “Captain America” ​​actor Chris Evans.

Domestically, the film has underperformed in theaters so far, opening at $50.6 million for a weekend despite expectations of $70 to $85 million, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The film’s release also comes after intense attention for Disney and its portrayal – or lack of portrayal – of LGBTQ people in its films.

Back in March, the $94 billion company was under pressure to take economic action against the state of Florida (where its lucrative Walt Disney World is located) after the passage of House Bill 1557, informally dubbed “Don’t Say Gay “law is known . HB 1557 Prevents Teachers from Discussing LGBTQ+ Issues in K-3 Classrooms. class, it allows parents/guardians to sue teachers and/or schools that discuss these topics.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the law into law in April.

Around this time, Disney CEO Bob Chapek drew criticism after he sent a letter to Disney employees responding to HB 1557, saying that the “biggest impact” the company was making in the ” creating a more inclusive world through the inspiring content we produce.

Meanwhile, a group of queer Pixar employees urged parent company Disney to fulfill Chapek’s words. In a letter obtained by Variety, the group said that Disney execs have called for cuts of “almost every moment of overtly gay affection” in Pixar films, despite trying to be inclusive.

The letter, signed by “Pixar’s LGBTQIA+ employees and their allies,” claimed Disney executives had called for cuts to same-sex affection in Pixar films, whether there were complaints or not. Disney and Pixar officials did not immediately respond to comment at the time.

After many negative reactions, Chapek pledged that the company would donate $5 million to LGBTQ advocacy groups, including the Human Rights Campaign. However, HRC said it would deny the donation “until meaningful action is taken”.

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