The last buzz light year The Disney/Pixar standalone film has been a surprisingly poor performer, with numbers significantly lower than expected and failing to outperform competing films like Jurassic World.
There may be many reasons for this performance, but without a doubt, the aspect that will stand out the most is the fact that the film featured one of pixar The strongest portrayals of LGBTQ characters yet, in the form of Commander Alisha Hawthorn (voiced by Uzo Aduba) and his wife. The portrayal of the lesbian couple, and in particular a brief kiss scene between the two featured in the film, caused the project to face significant backlash from conservative audiences at home and around the world. The film was banned from showing in at least 14 states in the Middle East and Asia, causing the film’s international numbers to take a hit.
This isn’t the first instance of LGBTQ representation in the franchise though, Toy Story 4 featured a scene where a boy was seen with his lesbian mothers outside of school. The scene was so brief that you could have easily missed it. However, people on both sides of the political spectrum managed to spot it with conservatives calling for a boycott of the film, while the LGBTQ community said it wasn’t enough representation. However, that political controversy did not affect the numbers of the film and therefore the reasons for concern were much less. This time things are different.
The decision to make Lightyear was a risky one to begin with, as new entries to franchises that are household names are rarely accepted, especially if the voice representing a beloved character suddenly changes (Buzz Lightyear was previously voiced by Tim Allen, but in this film, Chirs Evans took over), however, with all the political controversy surrounding the film and its LGBTQ portrayals, it’s unlikely the studio would look for anything other than controversy to explain the film’s poor performance. . This would call into question the likelihood of clear portrayals of LGBTQ characters in future films, not only at Disney/Pixar but also at any other studio that might draw the same conclusion from the film’s failure.