Disney Supported The Lesbian Couple In ‘Lightyear’ But Didn’t Want Them Kissing At First

Aladdin and Jasmine kiss after their globe-trotting magic carpet date. Rapunzel and Flynn kiss after triumphing over Mother Gothel. Ariel and Prince Eric, Carl and Ellie in Up, Tiana and Prince Naveen. All of these famous Disney/Pixar couples smooched, and should act as reminders that any kind of “controversy” about a lesbian married couple kissing in Lightyear is invented out of unbreathable thin air. Some of that air, at least, stems from Disney’s inexplicable nervousness at keeping the kiss in the picture. It became public last March that a kiss between Alisha Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba) and her Black wife was cut from the film, but then reinstated after an anonymous open letter signed by staff convinced the higher ups not to diminish the lesbian couple’s affection. The kiss is back in the news after several countries, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, banned the Buzz Lightyear origin story from their theaters because of the kiss. No big surprise there.

Plus, producer Galyn Susman just spoke out in an interview to clarify that Disney executives were always supportive of Hawthorne and her wife as characters, “but there was definite pushback on having that kiss.” After the internal backlash and the course correction from executives, Susman applauded the move to reinstate the kiss. “We got the opportunity to put it back in and that was really exciting,” she said.

This kind of clarification is valuable because there’s simply no reason Disney should even worry about whether to show a kiss like that on screen. It represents Pixar’s first same-sex kiss, so here’s hoping their next same-sex kisses garner far less attention and consternation.

(via The Hollywood Reporter)