Pixar’s ‘Onward’ banned in Middle East for lesbian parents


photo: Disney/Pixar

Four countries in the Middle East have banned Pixar’s latest animation ‘Onward’ for promoting a lesbian cop and her girlfriend.

‘Onward’ centres around two elven brothers (Chris Pratt and Tom Holland) who embark on a quest to resurrect their dead father.

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But the criticism here comes from a scene in which a woman speaks about her girlfriend.

In the scene, police officer Specter (voiced by lesbian actress Lena Waithe) says: “It’s not easy being a parent. My girlfriend’s daughter got me pulling my hair out, okay?”

Specter is Pixar’s first confirmed LGBTIQ character.

Because of the reference to a same-sex relationship though, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia have all banned the film from their screens.

In addition, Russia has had the scene dubbed to change the word ‘girlfriend’ to ‘partner’.

Waithe’s lesbian reference

According to Waithe, the aforementioned line was different in the original script.

But she said during recording, not saying ‘girlfriend’ felt inorganic.

“I said, ‘Can I say the word girlfriend, is that cool?’,” Waithe told Variety.

“I was just like, ‘It sounds weird.’ I even have a gay voice, I think.

“I don’t think I sound right saying ‘husband’.

Waithe said the Pixar team agreed with her and were more than willing to let her play a lesbian.

“They were so cool and chilled. And it ended up being something really special,” she said.

Pixar praised for ‘Onward’

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‘Onward’ opened up at number one at the US box office last week making over $2 million USD in previews alone.

Those who have already seen the film have taken to Twitter to praise Pixar for its inclusion of an LGBTIQ character.

Many have thanked the animation giant, expressing their gratitude of finally feeling represented on screen.

“Please watch Onward. This is amazing. Pixar, thank you for this movie now it’s my favourite,” one excited user said.

“Yeah, gay cop was kind of an icon what are you looking at?’ another said.

“Watching Onward, can’t wait to see my gay queen cop cyclops,” said someone else. 

But others are disappointed with Pixar’s choice to make Specter a lesbian.

They said Specter is a very minor character who ticks the LGBTIQ boxes but she doesn’t have enough airtime.

“[The] gay cop says like 10 lines…[but then] said ‘gay rights’,” one user criticised.

“The gay cop from Onward gets five seconds to mention her girlfriend in one scene and that’s it,” another added.

“Today I issued a refund for Onward because of the gay cop line. The one second, blink and miss it line,” one more frustrated viewer said.

I don’t know about you, but for me, any LGBTIQ representation on screen is a step forward. Maybe we have many many more.

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