The United Arab Emirates has banned, on Monday, 13 June, the upcoming Pixar animated feature ‘Lightyear’ from releasing in movie theatres as reports are coming that the film shows two female characters kissing each other.
The Emirates, Abu Dhabi and Dubai revealed via the Media Regulatory Office of the nation’s Ministry of Youth and Culture that the movie would not be launching in the country this Thursday, 16 June.
The office said in a tweet that this movie “is not approved for public screening in all cinemas in the UAE because it violates the country’s media content standards.”
The office further confirms that all movies screened in cinemas are subject to follow-up and evaluation before the screening date to the public to assure the safety of the circulated content as per the appropriate age classification.
The tweet also included an image of the movie’s poster, with the profile image of its main lead Buzz Lightyear with a cross symbol in red colour over it.
The film featuring actor Chris Evans voicing the inspiration for the Buzz Lightyear character from the Toy Story films reportedly includes a character voiced by celebrity Uzo Abuda who is in a relationship with another woman and also kisses her.
The UAE has always criminalized same-sex relationships. The US State Department warns that Islamic law, or Shariah, can also include the death penalty for same-sex relationships. At the same time, Dubai can impose 10-year imprisonment, and Abu Dhabi can levy up to 14 years of prison.
Meanwhile, such cases are rarely found, and LGBTQ individuals live in the skyscraper-studded city-state of Dubai, which is home to the long-haul carrier Emirates.
The animated movie ‘Lightyear’ by Disney and Pixar is expected to be a significant draw, with critics estimating it could earn a profit of over $100 million in its first weekend.