Buzz Lightyear Voice Chris Evans Responds to Anti-LGBTQ+ Censorship of Movie

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Wednesday June 15, 2022

In this Feb. 16, 2018 file photo, Chris Evans attends the 'Lobby Hero' Broadway press meet and greet at Sardi's in New York
In this Feb. 16, 2018 file photo, Chris Evans attends the 'Lobby Hero' Broadway press meet and greet at Sardi's in New York  (Source:Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)

Chris Evans, who voices Buzz Lightyear in the new Pixar movie, dismissed — and dissed — censorship due to the film's inclusion of a lesbian character, UK newspaper The Guardian reported.

"'Lightyear' was banned in the United Arab Emirates because it depicts homosexuality," The Guardian noted, referencing a same-sex kiss between one of Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger colleagues and her wife.

As previously reported, the UAE announced through its Media Regulatory Office that "Lightyear" would not be allowed to screen there "due to its violation of the country's media content standards."

The Guardian article added that "Disney has been unable to secure permission to show it in 13 other Middle Eastern and Asian countries, including Saudi Arabia."

Evans stated his views about such censorship plainly, saying, "The real truth is those people are idiots."

The "Captain America" actor went on to say, "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: "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."

The film is a spinoff of sorts from the "Toy Story" films, in which the "Buzz Lightyear" toy, based on the hero of a fictional movie, was voiced by Tim Allen. The idea behind "Lightyear" is that it is the film that inspired the toy.

Evans wasn't the only person associated with the film to give voice to his thoughts.

"Producer Galyn Susman asked why viewers 'don't get more upset showing failed relationships,'" The Guardian detailed, quoting Susman as saying that in the film, "we have a relationship here which lasts an entire lifetime. It's loving, it's supportive and it shows Buzz exactly what he doesn't have and that's the whole point."

"We should all be so lucky to have that kind of relationship in our life."

The kiss between the characters was always planned to be part of the film, but Disney executives, at one point, ordered it cut. But in the uproar around the company's donations to all of the Florida state lawmakers who supported the infamous "Don't Say Gay" law — and Disney's slowness to respond to the law, which advocates see as an attack on the state's LGBTQ+ youth — the company reversed course and ordered the snipped snog to be put back into the film.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.