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Onward Banned in Middle East for LGBTQ+ Representation

Once again a small, itsy bitsy piece of LGBTQ+ representation is being criticized and, consequently, banned from particular markets. This time it’s Pixar’s latest film Onward, banned in four Middle Eastern countries, for a miniscule scene where nothing is actually shown.

In one scene, as The Mary Sue explained, “Lena Waithe’s character, Officer Specter, mentions her girlfriend’s child when Barley (Chris Pratt) and Ian (Tom Holland) are trying to trick the cops and get out of trouble using magic.”

And, according to the BBC, “The character choice appears to have been Waithe’s, rather than something that was originally in the script. Waithe told Variety, ‘I said, ‘Can I say the word girlfriend, is that cool?’ I was just like, ‘it sounds weird.’ I even have a gay voice, I think. I don’t think I sound right saying ‘Husband.’ They were like, ‘oh yeah, do that.’ They were so cool and chilled. And it ended up being something special.’

Now it’s important to note this isn’t a Disney-level-LGBTQ-representation situation. While the representation can easily be edited out, as Disney has done in agreement with censorship from foreign governments, Pixar did not simply choose to edit out this scene. Instead, governments like Russia have edited the clip for Waithe’s character to say “partner,” instead of “girlfriend.” Which, I guess, is a step forward