Ted Cruz has complained about Disney including more LGBTQ+ characters and says there are “lesbian toys” in the new Lightyear film. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty)
Texas senator Ted Cruz went on a bizarre rant ridiculing “woke” Disney for including “lesbian toys” in its new Lightyear movie.
The Republican took to his podcast the Verdict to discuss the new Disney-Pixar movie Lightyear. The film is a spin-off of the beloved Toy Story franchise and features a same-sex kiss between Commander Alisha Hawthorne (Uzo Aduba) and her wife.
Cruz decried “woke Disney” and mentioned his previous comments in which he insisted the company would soon show Mickey Mouse “going at it” with Pluto. He then whined about Disney’s steps towards broader LGBTQ+ inclusion in its films before ranting about Lightyear’s “lesbian toys”.
“These lunatics, they want to see Mickey and Pluto going at it and the press lost their mind,” Cruz said. “And then what do they do? Boom! The next movie they come out, Buzz Lightyear. What do we need? We need lesbian toys.”
He continued: “Now, never mind that the last time I checked, most toys are kinda androgynous. They are usually without genitalia…”
Ted Cruz noted that Lightyear has been banned in 14 countries – including Saudi Arabia, The United Arab Emirates and Lebanon – over its inclusion of the same-sex kiss. The Texas Republican said there is a “significant discussion” that Lightyear might not air in China because of the LGBTQ+ scene.
“It’s a wild twist where Hollywood has been willing to grovel to China, to let China censor its movies, to embrace anti-Americanism, to avoid any criticism of China because they want to get access to the Chinese movie market,” Cruz ranted.
“But when it comes to their culture agenda, apparently now suddenly they’ve discovered, ‘Alright, give up the money because lesbian toys are more important’.”
Sen Ted Cruz complains about “lesbian toys” in the Buzz Lightyear movie: “Most toys are, kinda, androgynous. They’re usually without genitalia” pic.twitter.com/IPeNrtL1G5
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) June 17, 2022
Contrary to Cruz’s beliefs, the characters are not toys in Lightyear. Lightyear is the origin-myth story of the character that the Buzz Lightyear toy was based on.
It’s similar to how it was revealed in Toy Story 2 that Woody was once the star of a western show called “Woody’s Roundup” which also featured Jessie the Cowgirl, Bullseye and Stinky Pete.
Disney previously cut the same-sex kiss scene but restored it after backlash from LGBTQ+ staff and allies over the company’s stance on Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill. The restoration also came after LGBTQ+ Pixar employees claimed in a searing letter that Disney censored “nearly every moment of overtly gay affection” in its films.
Chris Evans, who is the voice of Buzz Lightyear in the film, said that he’s “happy” fans will be able to see the kiss but was a “little frustrated” that including the “wonderful” scene was even a “topic of discussion”.
“The goal is that we can get to a point where it is the norm, and that this doesn’t have to be some uncharted waters, that eventually this is just the way it is,” Evans said. “That representation across the board is how we make films.”
Evans didn’t mince words in an interview with Reuters about his feelings for people – like Ted Cruz – who react negatively to the LGBTQ+ themes in Lightyear.
“The real truth is those people are idiots,” Evans said. “Every time there’s been social advancement as we wake up, the American story, the human story is one of constant social awakening and growth and that’s what makes us good.”
He added that there will be people who are “afraid and unaware and trying to hold onto what was before”. But he said those people will “die off like dinosaurs” so the “goal” is to “pay them no mind, march forward and embrace the growth that makes us human”.
Lightyear is currently out in cinemas.