Buzz Lightyear film banned from cinemas by UAE

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Buzz LightyearImage source, Pixar
Image caption,
The new film follows the origin story of the astronaut who inspired the toy in Toy Story

Disney and Pixar's latest animated movie Lightyear has been banned from cinemas in the United Arab Emirates, officials said on Monday.

The film contains a same-sex kiss, but the UAE's Media Regulatory Office did not give a specific reason for its decision.

The department just said the film was banned for its "violation of the country's media content standards".

The UAE's Media Regulatory Office posted a tweet featuring an image of Buzz, crossed out with a red line.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

The BBC has contacted both the UAE government and Disney for comment.

The Lightyear ban comes just six months after the UAE said it would stop censoring cinematic releases and announced a 21-plus age rating for films it classifies for older audiences.

The United Arab Emirates, a Sunni Muslim-ruled country, criminalises consensual same-sex sexual activity between adults.

Last year, Pixar's Onward was reported to have been banned by several Middle Eastern countries because of a reference to lesbian parents.

In April, Saudi Arabia requested cuts to "LGBTQ references" in Disney's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which was ultimately not screened in the country.

Other films featuring gay storylines to have fallen foul of censorship around the world include Elton John biopic Rocketman. It was banned outright in Samoa and sex scenes from the hit 2019 movie were cut by a Russian distributor.