Actor Chris Evans has slammed people who react negatively to films reflecting traditionally underrepresented groups, calling them “idiots” who will “die like dinosaurs”.
The Hollywood star plays young Buzz Lightyear in the animated Toy Story spin-off Lightyear, which was banned in the United Arab Emirates because it depicts a kiss between two female characters.
Speaking about those who object to the decision to mirror different groups on screen, Evans told Reuters TV: “The real truth is that these people are idiots.”
“Whenever there has been waking social progress, American history, human history, is one of constant social awakening and growth and that is what makes us good,” said added Evans.
Lightyear, the character’s origin story, is set to hit theaters on Thursday.
In addition to being banned in the United Arab Emirates, which includes Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Disney was also unable to secure permission to show the Pixar film in 13 other Middle Eastern countries and Asia, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia and Lebanon.
The UAE Ministry of Youth and Culture’s Media Regulatory Office said the film was ‘not allowed to be shown to the public’ due to its ‘violation of the country’s media content standards’. .
Buzz’s close friend in the film is a female space ranger who marries another woman, and a scene showing pivotal moments throughout the couple’s relationship includes a brief kiss.
“There will always be people who are scared and don’t know and try to hold on to what was before. But those people are dying like dinosaurs,” Evans said. “I think the goal is to ignore them, to move on and embrace the growth that makes us human.”
Producer Galyn Susman wondered why viewers “don’t get more pissed off showing failed relationships.”
She said Lightyear shows a relationship that “lasts a lifetime” and is “loving” and “sustainable” – showing Buzz “exactly what he doesn’t have and that’s the whole point”.
“We should all be so lucky to have this kind of relationship in our lives.”
On Monday, Evans surprised young patients at a preview screening of the film, greeting families at London’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital at the hospital’s CW+ MediCinema – one of six hospital cinemas the charity charity runs in the UK.
The Captain America star spent time chatting with patients and signing posters before attending the London premiere later that evening.
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