Chris Evans has some choice words for people who are making a stink over a less-than-five-second appearance of a same-sex kiss in Lightyear. The upcoming Toy Story spinoff features a kiss between Ranger Alisha Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba) and her wife.
"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," he said. "I think the goal is to pay them no mind, march forward and embrace the growth that makes us human."
The peck has gotten the film banned in 14 countries, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Malaysia, Indoenisa, and Kuwait. China, which is one of Disney’s largest markets, also seems like it will be unlikely to release the film.
Evans applauded Disney/Pixar’s efforts of inclusion and the choice to keep the kiss, adding that, "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.”
Originally, Disney had cut the scene. In the wake of the “Don’t Say Gay” controversy back in March, employees at Pixar published an open letter fighting for diverse character representation.
"We at Pixar have personally witnessed beautiful stories, full of diverse characters, come back from Disney corporate reviews shaved down to crumbs of what they once were. Even if creating LGBTQIA+ content was the answer to fixing the discriminatory legislation in the world, we are being barred from creating it,” read the letter.
Disney ultimately added the kiss back in. Talking to Vanity Fair earlier this month, Evans said, “It’s great it’s back in the film. I think it’s a shame that it’s such a story. It should be more normalized, but I’m glad we are making those steps.”
Added Aduba, "It's incredible, and a real hats off to Disney and Pixar for having that kiss be a part of this story. The kiss is a greeting and a gesture of love that is tender. It does establish who they are as people, but it is not the singular identifier for who either of them are. Seeing a loving gay couple in a meaningful way is important for everybody."
It’s a kiss, y’all. Seriously.