The monitor is -one weekly column devoted to everything that happens in the WIRED world of culture, from movies to memes, TV to Twitter.
The timing on Light year could not be better. Or maybe worse. Based on Toy Story action figure, Pixar’s latest is a tale of a brave space ranger – Buzz Lightyear – who is determined to complete his mission and rescue the group of people he feels responsible for ending up on a distant planet. But in true Pixar fashion, Buzz’s journey represents a quest to learn from mistakes and accept flaws. For some, though, there is another message, and it’s one they seemingly can not come to terms with: Queer people exist.
Light yearwhich hits American cinemas today is already is facing a ban in several Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian countries for having a kiss between two women – Buzz’s commander, Alisha Hawthorne (pronounced by Uzo Aduba) and her wife. And in America, where it’s currently LGBTQ + Pride Month, the film has found itself in the middle of a culture war over whether it’s OK to talk to children about the people they’ve seen and want to see all their lives.
Disney probably knew this was coming. Back in March, Variety reported that the studio had clipped the kiss at one point, only to reinsert it after employee calls. This was amid the company’s disappointing response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. At the time, Disney was holding a virtual meeting with all hands, with Latoya Raveneau, one of the company’s executive producers, defending Mouse House, saying everyone had been welcome to her “not-at-all-secret gay agenda.” When video of Raveneau’s remarks leaked, she became, as Michelle Goldberg said it in New York Times, “a national object of right-wing rage and disgust.”
Fast forward to this week, and conservative commentators are sticking to these comments, saying “Parents should keep this in mind before deciding whether to take their children on a visit Light year“Chris Evans, Buzz’s voice, has meanwhile called people who react negatively to the portrayal of queer people in the film”idiots“adding that” the goal is not to break them, march forward and embrace the growth that makes us human. “
All this is coming at a (different) time for LGBTQ + rights. In addition to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Act, which prohibits the teaching of sexuality and gender identity in kindergarten through third-class classrooms and became signed by Governor Ron DeSantis at the end of March, there are several other initiatives at the moment works its way through the state legislative assemblies. Many of them target transgender people and focus on queer children and queer topics in schools. On Saturday, police in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, arrested 31 members of the white nationalist group Patriot Front accused of conspiracy to commit a riot at a Pride event. The same day there were several people – one of them wearing a “Kill Your Local Pedophile” T-shirt –disrupted a Drag Queen Story Hour at a library in the Bay Area. In the meantime “Hide the Pride” effort aims to remove LGBTQ + -friendly books from libraries.