A small-town theater in Oklahoma is catching heat after posting a sign warning moviegoers about the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it same-sex kiss scene in Pixar’s latest film Lightyear.
The sign, taped to the entrance of the 89er Theater in Kingfisher, Oklahoma, population just under 5,000, read:
Attention Parents: The management of this theatre discovered after booking “Lightyear” that there is a same-sex kissing scene within the first 30 minutes of the Pixar movie. We will do all we can to fast-forward through that scene, but it might not be exact.
According to Oklahoma City NBC affiliate station KFOR, the sign was posted during the film’s opening weekend, but taken down by Monday afternoon.
In a later report by ABC’s KOCO News in Oklahoma City, the theater’s owner reversed course, saying that they were showing the film uninterrupted, that they had taken down the sign, and that they never fast-forwarded through any screening of the film.
The theater hasn’t posted to its Facebook page since June 10, but the account is currently getting review-bombed by angry posters accusing the theater of stoking bigotry and hatred.
Speaking with NBC News, former 89er employee Eric Ogilvie said he wasn’t surprised by the sign but that he was disappointed. Ogilvie grew up in Kingfisher and came out as gay during high school. Now 27, he lives in Oklahoma City and says he never felt a sense of belonging or acceptance growing up in the small town:
I just knew growing up in Kingfisher that it wasn’t really okay to be gay and that you’re going to be treated differently. I loved my job at the theater, but for them to come out and put a sign on their door… why not just send the movie back or rescind the contract and not post something for everyone to see?
In the same report, Alex Wade, deputy director of the LGBTQ advocacy organization Oklahomans for Equality, shared Ogilvie’s frustrations:
I am not shocked to see something like this happening in my state, but it does break my heart that young LGBTQ+ Oklahomans are made to feel like something is wrong with them. This is why we develop chapters in rural Oklahoma to show everyone that there are people in their corner. When same-sex couples show affection, even the most chaste of kisses, it is sexualized and treated as if it were explicit. If this were a heterosexual couple, the theater would never even think of skipping it, because heterosexual couples are given the grace to be intimate without being shamed.
Neither Pixar nor Disney have commented publicly on the matter.