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Indonesia has asked Disney-Pixar to eliminate from the animated film Lightyear the scene of a kiss between two female characters because it is a “delicate” matter in the country, joining other nations that have applied censorship measures against the children’s film.
“There is only one thing we recommend. The film may pass censorship and be shown in Indonesia, but we have advised the producers to consider the kiss LGTBI. Just that,” Rommy Fibri Hardiyanto, from the Indonesian Film Censorship Committee, told EFE on Wednesday.
According to Hardiyanto, it is still a “sensitive” topic in Indonesia, the country with most Muslims in the world. “Let’s say the scene involves a man and a woman, then, it would be fine for those over 17. But in Indonesia it is a sensitive issue if both are men or both are women”, he adds.
Hardiyanto assured EFE that they are still awaiting a response from Disney-Pixar, after requesting the cut of the scene a few weeks ago, he said, and that, when they obtain it, “we will be able to say whether the film has passed the censorship or not. We haven’t made a decision for now.”
Indonesia is not the only country taking action against the film, a prequel to “Toy Story” with a scene where two female characters kiss, and which has sparked a wave of criticism in a dozen Islamic countries.
In neighboring Malaysia, also with a Muslim-majority, approval of the film is not expected.
The country, along with Brunei – is governed by the Sharia law – it is the most hostile nation in Southeast Asia towards the LGTBI community, since it has a double judicial system: On the one hand, the one governed by the Islamic courts for Muslims (more than 60 percent of the total), and, on the other, the civil one, with section 377 of the Penal Code in force and applicable to the entire population.
This section punishes homosexual sex with penalties of up to 20 years in prison, lashes or fines.
Singapore, which also maintains section 377A of the penal code like Malaysia, but claims not to put it into practice, decided to approve its broadcast but under the category of film for ages 16 years+, the first time that a film intended for children is included in such a section, as stated by the body in charge of regulating the cultural content of the country.
In nations of Middle East such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which criminalizes relationships between people of the same-sex, the Disney-Pixar film has been directly prohibited.