The 89er Theatre in Kingfisher, Oklahoma has come under fire after posting a warning about a brief gay kiss featured in Pixar’s “Lightyear.” A sign was posted on the window of the theater during the movie’s opening weekend warning moviegoers about the gay kiss and claiming the theater would “do all we can to fast-forward” through the scene. Kingfisher is located about 50 miles from Oklahoma City.
As reported by NBC News, the warning post included the following message: “Attention Parents: The management of this theatre discovered after booking ‘Lightyear’ that there is a same-sex kissing scene within the first 30 minutes of the Pixar movie. We will do all we can to fast-forward through that scene, but it might not be exact.”
Oklahoma City’s NBC affiliate KFOR reported the sign was posted over the weekend and was removed by Monday afternoon. One local resident, Patricia Kasbek, told NBC News she first thought the warning was a joke. Kasbek then left a complaint with the theater after discovering the warning was real.
“I told them that it was completely insulting for them to censor a same-gender kiss when they’ve never done this to an opposite-gender kiss,” Kasbek said, calling the sign “cruel” and “bigoted.” “I will never see a movie at this theater while under this ownership.”
Alex Wade, the deputy director of the LGBTQ advocacy organization Oklahomans for Equality, also slammed the theater in a statement to NBC News, saying, “I am not shocked to see something like this happening in my state, but it does break my heart that young LGBTQ+ Oklahomans are made to feel like something is wrong with them. This is why we develop chapters in rural Oklahoma to show everyone that there are people in their corner.”
“When same-sex couples show affection, even the most chaste of kisses, it is sexualized and treated as if it were explicit,” Wade added. “If this were a heterosexual couple, the theater would never even think of skipping it, because heterosexual couples are given the grace to be intimate without being shamed.”
“Lightyear” underwhelmed at the box office in its debut, grossing only $51 million. For Pixar, “Lightyear” ranks as one of the studio’s lower starts, behind 2017’s “Cars 3” ($53 million) and ahead of 2015’s “The Good Dinosaur” ($39 million) and 2020’s “Onward” ($39 million). It’s also one of the rare Pixar films to not take the top spot at the domestic box office, landing in second place.