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Disney's 'Lightyear' Banned in Muslim World for Lesbian Kiss
By: Emma Lu
Lightyear is one of Disney’s biggest and most anticipated films, yet it has been banned from 13 countries, such as Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. Why? This is due to a female character exchanging a brief kiss with her female partner. Nothing wrong with that, right? Though Disney tries to make its movies more modern and progressive, there are always people who reject such beliefs.
Why do these countries decide that this Disney movie is not suitable for viewing? Bahrain, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and the United Arab Emirates are all the countries that placed the ban. These countries have a Muslim majority, and many Muslims believe members of the LGBTQ are sinful because of their religious beliefs. In some countries, it is possible to be arrested and sentenced to prison, or even be given the death penalty.
Disney had the best intentions with that scene with goals to normalize sensitive topics. There’s nothing wrong with it—a girl and a girl shouldn’t be any different than a girl and a boy. However, just like every other controversial topic, there are those who choose not to believe, or even seek to antagonize those who believe in it. There are even parents claiming the movie will turn children gay. What this controversy proves to us, as a society, is that we are afraid of change.
This brings us to my last and final point, which is the fact that this scene is harmless and doesn’t pose any real importance to the plot. Why is this scene so important, yet so insignificant? Yes, it served as a representation of LGBTQ rights, but the movie is not centered around this theme, normalization of these relationships. We need to normalize these relationships and treat non-heteronormative couples just like any other straight couple.
Lightyear, one of the year’s most anticipated movies, was set for a success—yet its controversy was inevitable. This went to the extent of the movie being banned in 13 countries, all of which have a Muslim majority. It really shows how us humans are afraid of change. In this situation, it’s not the animators at fault, it’s the community.