Oklahoma Theater Posts Same-Sex Kiss Warning Sign in Pixar’s Lightyear

A movie theater in Oklahoma sparked controversy after it put up a sign warning customers about a “same-sex kissing scene” in Pixar’s new animated film Lightyear.

The sign on the window of the 89er Theater in Kingfisher, a small town of about 5,000 people about 50 miles from Oklahoma City, read in part: “Parents: The management of this theater determined after booking ‘Lightyear’ that it is a same-sex kissing scene within the first 30 minutes of the Pixar film. We’ll do everything we can to fast forward this scene, but it may not be exact.”

The sign was reportedly posted over the weekend and was gone by Monday afternoon, according to Oklahoma City-based NBC affiliate KFOR. The 89er Theater did not respond to NBC News’ request for comment.

Patricia Kasbek, 42, of Oklahoma, said she initially thought the sign was a joke when she first saw it posted on social media but was outraged when she realized it was real. She then called the theater to leave a complaint but was put on voicemail.

“I told them that censoring a same-sex kiss if they’ve never done it to a kiss from the opposite sex is totally offensive to them,” Kasbek said, calling the mark “cruel” and “bigotic.” “I will never see a movie in this theater as long as I own this.”

Neither Pixar Animation Studios nor its parent company, The Walt Disney Co., responded to NBC News’ request for comment on the character.

The same-sex kiss in Lightyear, an animated Toy Story spinoff, marks Pixar’s first acknowledged same-sex kiss in a feature film. The brief kissing scene between a lesbian couple led to the film being banned across much of the Muslim world, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, according to The Associated Press.

Alex Wade, the associate director of Oklahomans for Equality, a statewide LGBTQ advocacy group, criticized the 89er Theater for putting up the warning sign.

“I’m not shocked that something like this is happening in my state, but it breaks my heart that young LGBTQ+ Oklahomans are being made to feel like there’s something wrong with them,” he told NBC News. “So we’re developing chapters in rural Oklahoma, to show everyone there are people in their corner.”

Wade added that fast-forwarding through a same-sex kissing scene sends the message that LGBTQ love is inappropriate.

“When same-sex couples show affection, even the chaste kiss, it’s sexualized and treated as if it were explicit,” he said. “If this were a straight couple, the theater would never consider skipping it because straight couples are given the grace to be intimate without being shamed.”

'89 Theater in Kingfisher, Okla.
’89 Theater in Kingfisher, Okla.Google Maps

Eric Ogilvie, a former employee of the 89er Theater who now lives in Oklahoma City, said he wasn’t surprised by the sign but was disappointed. Ogilvie, now 27, grew up in Kingfisher and came out as gay during high school. He said he didn’t experience any harsh bullying at school, but neither did he ever feel a sense of belonging or acceptance.

“Growing up in Kingfisher, I just knew it wasn’t really okay to be gay and you were treated differently,” he said. “I loved my job in the theater but if they come out and put a sign on their door…why not just send the movie back or cancel the contract and not post something for everyone to see?”

Ogilvie said representation is important and he believes Lightyear can help children who may feel differently.

“The sign tells kids it’s not okay to be gay; It’s not okay to be different,” he said. “You don’t want those kids to see it, but that’s not the real world.”

Ogilvie said he has a message for children who may have seen the sign: “Don’t let other people define you. You know, it’s tough right now, but it’s getting better. You will find people who will accept and love you for who you are.”

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