“Lightyear” actor Chris Evans, who plays the titular role in Walt Disney’s new Pixar movie, has responded to critics who say the film’s kissing scene between two female characters pushes a pro-gay agenda.
“The real truth is those people are idiots,” Evans said during an interview with Reuters Television. “There’s always going to be people who are afraid and unaware and trying to hold on to what was before. But those people die off like dinosaurs. I think the goal is to pay them no mind, march forward and embrace the growth that makes us human.”
In the film, Evans voices the character Buzz Lightyear, whose story inspires an action figure by the same name in the “Toy Story” franchise.
“Every time there’s been social advancement as we wake up, the American story, the human story is one of constant social awakening and growth and that’s what makes us good,” Evans added.
The comment comes as some critics of the film have argued the decision to include LGBTQ representation and a scene with a gay married couple kissing in a film marketed to children was intentional.
The on-screen kiss takes place between Hawthorne, a female lead voiced by Uzo Aduba, and another female character.
It was reportedly removed from the film earlier this year, amid controversy over Disney’s quietness over Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill that barred conversations about LGBTQ identity in K-12 classrooms, Variety reported in March of this year, citing “a source close to the production.” The scene, however, was ultimately restored to the film.
“Lightyear” plays in some theaters on Thursday before a worldwide release Friday.
It will not be shown in the United Arab Emirates or Malaysia, due to the on-screen gay kiss.
The film “is not licensed for public screening in all cinemas in the UAE, due to its violation of the country’s media content standards,” the UAE Ministry of Youth and Culture Media Regulatory Office said in a tweet.
“The office confirms that all films screened in cinemas across the country are subject to follow-up and evaluation before the date of screening to the public, to ensure the safety of the circulated content according to the appropriate age classification,” the tweet added.