United Arab Emirates bans the broadcast of Pixar’s “Lightyear” | Your money

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates on Monday banned Pixar’s upcoming animated feature “Lightyear” from showing in theaters amid reports that the film would include a kiss between two female characters.

The Emirates, home to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, announced through their media regulatory office in the country’s Ministry of Youth and Culture that the film will not be released in the country this Thursday.

The film “is not permitted to be publicly screened in any cinemas in the UAE, due to its violation of the country’s media content standards,” the office said in a tweet. “The office confirms that all films screened in theaters across the country are tracked and evaluated prior to the public screening date, to ensure the safety of the content released according to the classification of appropriate age.”

The office did not provide details about the tweet and did not immediately respond to questions from The Associated Press. The tweet included an image of the film’s poster, featuring its lead character Buzz Lightyear’s profile picture with a “no” symbol on it in red. Cinemas in the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven emirates on the Arabian Peninsula, had already announced the film’s schedules.

The film, with actor Chris Evans voicing the inspiration for the Buzz Lightyear action figure from the “Toy Story” films, would include a character voiced by actress Uzo Aduba kissing another woman she is in a relationship with.

The UAE, like much of the Middle East, is a Muslim-ruled nation that criminalizes same-sex relationships. The US State Department warns that Islamic law, or Sharia, can include the death penalty for same-sex relations, while Dubai can impose a 10-year prison sentence and Abu Dhabi allows up to 14 years.

However, such lawsuits are rarely reported, and LGBTQ people live in the skyscraper-studded city-state of Dubai, home to long-haul carrier Emirates.

The $200 million “Lightyear” is expected to be a major draw for Disney, with analysts estimating it could gross more than $100 million in its first weekend.

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Follow Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jongambrellAP.


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