A theatre in Oklahoma has faced backlash after issuing a warning over the same-sex kiss in the new Buzz Lightyear movie.
The 89er Theatre sparked controversy after stating that they would ‘fast-forward through’ the brief kissing scene in the Toy Story spinoff, posting a sign as a ‘warning’ to customers.
They displayed a poster in their window – which has now been removed – following the film’s release, which has been overshadowed by criticism over the kiss between two female characters, one of which is named Hawthorne and voiced by Uzo Aduba.
‘Warning’, their poster began in large letters, ‘Attention parents: The management of this theatre discovered after booking Lightyear that there is a same-sex kissing scene within the first 30 minutes of the Pixar movie,’ they continued.
‘We will do all we can to fast-forward through that scene, but it might not be exact.’
The theatre signed off by apologising for ‘any inconvenience’ the ‘late discovery of this scene causes.’
Residents of Oklahoma were both shocked and disappointed to see the sign in the cinema’s window, with 42-year-old Patricia Kasbek, 42, saying she initially thought the sign was a joke.
She posted a picture of it on social media in jest, but grew outraged upon learning that the sign was real.
‘After calling the theatre, asking them to remove the warning, her call went to voicemail.
‘I told them that it was completely insulting for them to censor a same-gender kiss when they’ve never done this to an opposite-gender kiss,’ she told NBC News.
She added that she ‘never see a movie at this theatre while under this ownership,’ branding their behaviour ‘cruel’ and ‘bigoted.’
According to NBC affiliate KFOR of Oklahoma City, the sign was gone by Monday afternoon after supposedly being put up over the weekend.
Alex Wade, deputy director of LGBTQ+ advocacy organisation Oklahomans for Equality, also condemned the theatre’s sign, saying: ‘I am not shocked to see something like this happening in my state, but it does break my heart that young LGBTQ+ Oklahomans are made to feel like something is wrong with them.’
‘If this were a heterosexual couple, the theater would never even think of skipping it, because heterosexual couples are given the grace to be intimate without being shamed,’ he added.
The same-sex kiss in Lightyear marks the first in one of Pixar’s productions.
Recently, Captain America actor Chris Evans – who voices the main character Buzz Lightyear – spoke out in support of the LGBTQ+ community, after the film was supposedly banned in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates for the kiss.
Chris, 41, told Reuters quite bluntly: ‘The real truth is those people are idiots.’
‘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.’
The Knives Out star said ‘it makes me happy’ to see Disney taking a stand after LGBTQ employees and allies at Pixar are said to have sent a letter to bosses, claiming that the company had censored ‘overtly gay affection’ in its films.
Lightyear is an origin story for the popular Toy Story character and follows Buzz as he embarks on an intergalactic adventure with a group of ambitious recruits and his robot companion.
The 89er Theatre has been contacted for comment.
Lightyear lands in cinemas on Friday.
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