Photo credit: DISNEY MOVIES

Lightyear given NC16 rating by IMDA due to ‘overt homosexual depictions’

The film features a female lead and her same-sex partner sharing a kiss.

Ernest Cheng

Published: 14 June 2022, 8:00 PM

Disney’s latest animated film, Lightyear, will be screened in Singapore with an NC16 rating due to its mature content. 

The film contains depictions of a female lead and her partner starting a family and sharing a kiss. 

It is the first commercial children’s animation to “feature overt homosexual depictions”, said the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) on Tuesday (Jun 14). 

The movie has been banned in 14 countries, including Malaysia and Indonesia, so far. 

IMDA said it proposed for Lightyear to be placed under the Simultaneous Rating Release (SRS), which will allow another edition of the film to be released at a lower rating. This would have provided consumers with the option to choose between the two versions while catering to a younger audience, said the agency. 

The request, however, was rejected by Disney. 

IMDA added in its press release that it followed the Film Classification Guidelines closely when considering the film’s classification rating, with one of the main guiding principles stating how films “should be sensitive to social norms and values that are generally acceptable among the public”.  

IMDA had also consulted its advisory committees, which included parents with young children. This includes the Film Consultative Panel (FCP), which comprises more than 260 members of the public from all walks of life.

FCP Chairperson Ms Cheryl Ng said that while she felt the animated film was excellent, NC16 was ultimately an appropriate rating for the film. 

Owing to how it was a children’s cartoon, she explained that the majority of FCP members felt that the film’s overt depiction of same-gender marriage warrants a higher rating. 

Even among members who were willing to consider a lower rating, some were uncomfortable that this would mean it can be shown unedited, to a broad-based audience on Free-to-Air TV,” she stated.

Lightyear tells the story of trapped astronaut Buzz Lightyear and his mission to make his way back to Earth amidst all the challenges thrown at him. It is a spinoff from the popular Toy Story franchise. 

The film will be released in cinemas on Jun 16.

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