Oklahoma Movie Theater Posts 'Warning' Sign About Lightyear Gay Kiss, Local Calls the Move 'Bigoted'
A movie theater in Oklahoma posted "warning" signs about Lightyear containing a gay kiss — and told patrons it would fast-forward over the scene during its screenings.
Disney and Pixar's latest big-screen release is the Toy Story spin-off Lightyear, which is about Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Chris Evans) and the backstory that inspired Tim Allen's action figure in the popular franchise. One scene involves Buzz's colleague Alisha Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba) saying she has a wife. The couple is briefly shown kissing and later welcoming a baby son.
The inclusion of the same-sex embrace caused controversy among some markets, as countries overseas like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates went as far as to ban it from being released altogether.
In the town of Kingfisher, Oklahoma, the local cinema 89er Theatre posted signs on its doors "warning" parents about the kiss and said they'd fast-forward over the scene, according to KFOR.
The sign read: "Warning. 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. We will do all we can to fast-forward through that scene, but it might not be exact. We apologize for any inconvenience this late discovery of this scene causes."
KFOR reported that the sign was visible over the weekend, when Lightyear debuted as the No. 2 movie in America, but was removed by Monday.
The 89er Theatre did not respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
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One local mom told KFOR that the sign "upset" her: "I don't want my child to be afraid of anyone based on who they love or what their orientation is. And I feel like that poster breeds fear." Another local woman told NBC News that she thinks the sign is "bigoted" and "cruel."
"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. I will never see a movie at this theater while under this ownership," she added.
The other film currently showing at the Oklahoma theater is Jurassic World Dominion, which features a bisexual character in new addition Kayla, played by DeWanda Wise. Wise told Variety of her character's inclusion in the popular franchise, "It's important to continue to expand and diversify what [sexuality] looks like, what it means. It's the same thing when you're coming at conversations about diversity and representation in general — which is, at some point, it has to be so well-woven, so matter of fact, that you feel it in the fiber and the truth of the character."
"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 added. "I think the goal is to pay them no mind, march forward and embrace the growth that makes us human."
Behind the scenes, Lightyear producer Galyn Susman told The Mercury News last week that Disney was "supportive" of including a lesbian couple in the movie, "but there was definite pushback on having that kiss" shown onscreen like it ultimately is.
As actress Aduba told Vanity Fair, "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."