lightyear 2

Source: Disney


Disney and Pixar’s upcoming animated Toy Story prequel Lightyear has been banned from cinemas in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), according to the UAE’s Media Regulatory Office.

A tweet from the UAE’s Media Regulatory Office said the film, which was to be released on June 16, will not screen in public cinemas in the country “due to its violation of the country’s media content standards”.

A specific reason has not be outlined, however, the film does feature a same-sex kiss, between a space ranger voiced by Uzo Aduba and her partner. Same-sex activity is illegal in the UAE.

Lightyear has also reportedly been banned in Saudi Arabia and some other territories in the Middle East. 

Films to have been blocked by censors in the region include Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, which has a gay character, and was banned in Saudi Arabia. Eternals was banned across much of the Gulf last year, again reportedly because of the inclusion of gay characters. A version did play in the UAE.

West Side Story was also pulled last year from a variety of countries in the Middle East, believed to be owing to the inclusion of a trans character called Anybodys, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait.

In December of last year, the UAE said it would be ending the censorship of films that are released in cinemas, instead using a 21+ age rating for films deemed to be for older audiences.

Screen has contacted Disney and the UAE’s Media Regulatory Office for comment.