The ’89 Theater in Kingfisher, Oklahoma has come under fire after it issued a warning about a brief gay kiss in Pixar’s Lightyear. On the film’s opening weekend, a sign was posted on the theater’s window warning moviegoers about the gay kiss and claiming the theater would “do everything it can to fast-forward” through the scene. Kingfisher is approximately 50 miles from Oklahoma City.
As reported by NBC News, the warning post included the following message: “Parents: The management of this theater discovered after booking ‘Lightyear’ that there was 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.”
Oklahoma City’s NBC affiliate KFOR reported that the sign was put up over the weekend and removed Monday afternoon. A local resident, Patricia Kasbek, told NBC News she initially thought the warning was a joke. Kasbek then filed a complaint with the theater after realizing the warning was genuine.
“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.”
Alex Wade, the associate director of the LGBTQ advocacy group Oklahomans for Equality, also slammed the drama in a statement to NBC News, saying, “I’m not shocked that something like this is happening in my state, but it breaks my heart to young LGBTQ+ people.” Oklahomans get a feeling that something is wrong with them. That’s why we’re developing chapters in rural Oklahoma to show everyone there are people in their corner.”
“When same-sex couples show affection, even the chaste kiss, it’s sexualized and treated as if it were explicit,” Wade added. “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.”
“Lightyear” was underwhelmed when it debuted at the box office, grossing just $51 million. Pixar ranks Lightyear as one of the studio’s worse releases, behind 2017’s Cars 3 ($53 million) and ahead of 2015’s The Good Dinosaur ($39 million) and 2020’s Onward ($39 million). It’s also one of the rare Pixar films not to take first place and finish second at the domestic box office.