Walt Disney Co.’s animated Pixar film ‘Lightyear’ won’t be able to be watched by kids in Singapore after the city-state’s Infocomm Media Development Authority gave it an NC16 rating because it includes a kiss between two female characters.
The Southeast Asian nation issued the minimum 16-year-old age rating to the ‘Toy Story’ spin-off Tuesday, saying that while it is an “excellent animated film set in the US context, Singapore is a diverse society where we have multiple sensibilities and viewpoints.”
‘Lightyear’ contains depictions of a female lead character and her partner starting a family and going through different milestones of their lives, and also sharing a kiss. According to IMDA, it’s the first commercial children’s animation to feature overt homosexual depictions.
It isn’t the first time Singapore’s conservative stance on homosexuality has come to the fore. There have long been calls for the nation’s government to repeal the section of the country’s penal code that criminalizes gay sex. In April, Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam said the government has been consulting with diverse groups of Singaporeans to better understand their viewpoints on the law.
IMDA did ask Disney to consider releasing the film in two versions, however, this suggestion was turned down, IMDA said.
“Even among members who were willing to consider a lower rating, some were uncomfortable that this would mean it can be shown unedited, to a broad-based audience on free-to-air TV,” the body added.
The United Arab Emirates has also banned ‘Lightyear’ from cinemas. The movie won’t be shown in 14 Middle Eastern and Asian countries when it releases in theaters this week, Reuters reported, citing an unidentified person familiar with the matter.