Disney’s ‘Lightyear’ animated film not approved for screening in UAE

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Disney’s animated film ‘Lightyear’ has not been approved for screening in the United Arab Emirates, the country’s Media Regulatory Office said in a Tweet on Monday.

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The Pixar movie, which reportedly features a scene involving a same-sex kiss between characters, violates the UAE’s media content standards.

The Media Regulatory Office did not specify how exactly the film fell short of its standards but reiterated that all films are evaluated “to ensure the safety of the circulated content according to the appropriate age classification.”

The latest announcement was made despite the office saying in December that it would release the ‘international version’ of movies under a new 21+ age category.

Lightyear, which was due to be shown on Thursday, is a spin-off of the hugely popular Toy Story series exploring the origin story of the Buzz Lightyear character.

Disney reportedly cut the same-sex kiss scene before reinstating it when Pixar staff published an open letter criticizing the company’s aversion to storylines highlighting LGBT relationships, a production source told Variety.

The UAE regularly censors material that breaches its standards governing public consumption.

Such material can include anything deemed to “offend Islamic beliefs,” according to the government website.

Other material can breach regulations by “violating public morals” or “confusing the public.”

While the UAE is more socially tolerant than many other Muslim countries, homosexual activity is still illegal.

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