Just because Captain America actor Chris Evans is done in the MCU (at least for now), that does not mean the actor is finished working with Disney. Actually, Evans' latest Disney-produced blockbuster is just about to hit theaters in the form of Pixar's Lightyear. That animated sci-fi epic has garnered mostly positive reviews, with The Direct's own Liam Crowley calling it a "strong installment in Pixar's critically-acclaimed catalog."
The film was originally announced back at Disney Investor Day in December 2020, being described as the movie that Andy from the Toy Story franchise sees, turning him into a Buzz fanboy. Months ago it was confirmed that the film would feature a gay kiss, pushing some international governments to ban its release.
This exact kiss has become a lightning rod for trolls online, something that has (sadly) become commonplace when strides for representation are made in these massive blockbusters. But measures are being taken, and Lightyear's stars are speaking out against these people.
Lightyear Gets 1-Star Review Bombed
The upcoming Pixar film Lightyear is just the latest Disney project to be review bombed because of LGBTQ+ representation in the film. Instances of gay romance in the animated feature have trolls swamping the movie's IMDB page with 1-star reviews before the movie has even been released to the general public.
At the time of writing, comments and reviews are locked for the Chris Evans-starring animated epic on the movie database site. And none of the 1-star user reviews can currently be viewed online.
Evans (who plays the titular star cadet) recently told Reuters he was against people who were offended by the on-screen representation, calling them "idiots:"
“The real truth is those people are idiots.”
The actor went on to say that "there’s been social advancement" and that the goal is to "march forward and embrace the growth that makes us human:”
“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. I think the goal is to pay them no mind, march forward and embrace the growth that makes us human.”
On The Hollywood Reporter, Producer Gayln Susman recalled that Disney was "all supportive of" the film featuring a gay couple, but "there was definite pushback on having that kiss.” However because of an open letter from Pixar employees regarding on-screen representation, the kiss was left in.
In an interview with The Guardian Susman questioned people who were upset by the relationship, asking why don't viewers get "more upset showing failed relationships." She then described the lesbian couples as "loving" and "supportive," showing Buzz "exactly what he doesn’t have:"
“We have a relationship here which lasts an entire lifetime. It’s loving, it’s supportive and it shows Buzz exactly what he doesn’t have and that’s the whole point. We should all be so lucky to have that kind of relationship in our life.“
The studio "got the opportunity to put [the kiss] back in," so they did.
Pixar Pushes Progress
While this move to freeze all one-star reviews and comments on the Lightyear IMDB page will have some up in arms, it is the right thing to do. This practice of review bombing has gotten out of hand.
Surely there are some genuine concerns out there that maybe warrant a one-star review. However, as the film has yet to actually be released in theaters, there is no way these reviews are being written by people who have seen Pixar's latest. They are instead being written by cheap internet trolls who are doing things in bad faith.
And it is nice to see that Pixar and the film's biggest star stand up for this case of on-screen representation. Earlier this year, the famed animation studio went to that mat over this decision that saw them going head-to-head with Disney.
After the House of Mouse got into hot water over their lack of a stance on Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill, large swaths of Pixar employees walked out. This effort also came with the penning of a letter that revealed the pushback they had received when wanting to include gay relationships in their projects.
So, they fought Goliath over this inclusion of a same-sex relationship and won. And the team should be celebrated for this decision, not lauded. Representation matters, plain and simple, and Pixar, Chris Evans, and (most of) Disney seem to get that.
Lightyear can be seen in theaters worldwide on June 17.