Entertainment

Chris Evans calls out ‘idiots’ criticizing same-sex kiss in ‘Lightyear’

"The real truth is those people are idiots."

Chris Evans attends the world premiere of Disney and Pixar's feature film "Lightyear" at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California, on June 8, 2022. The film opens in U.S. theaters on June 17. Jesse Grant / Getty Images for Disney

Chris Evans isn’t afraid to speak his mind when it comes to LGBTQ representation, especially after conservative critics called out a scene in his upcoming movie, “Lightyear.”

During an interview with Reuters TV, Evans discussed “Lightyear,” in which the Sudbury native plays the human astronaut that inspired the toy central to the plot of the “Toy Story” series.

One scene in the Pixar film, which opens Friday, features a shot in which a new female space ranger named Hawthorne, played by Boston native Uzo Aduba (“Orange Is The New Black”), kisses her wife.

The scene has caused “Lightyear” to be banned from theaters in several countries, including Saudia Arabia, Kuwait, and Malaysia. Domestically, the brief shot has also drawn criticism from social conservatives like Ben Shapiro, who accused Disney of pushing a “not-so-secret gay agenda” on audiences.

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Evans, who has been outspoken about LGBTQ issues in the past and whose brother Scott is gay, didn’t mince words when asked about the controversy.

“The real truth is those people are idiots,” Evans told Reuters. “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.”

According to Variety, Disney trimmed the scene in question from the theatrical cut of “Lightyear.” The company later reversed course, however, after an open letter from employees, sent following Florida passing its “Don’t Say Gay” bill, criticized the company for censoring “overtly gay affection” in its films.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Evans credited Disney’s decision to add the shot back in to “Lightyear.”

“It’s great that it’s back in the film,” Evans said. “I think it’s a shame that it’s such a story. It should be more normalized, but I’m glad we are making those steps.”

In the same interview, Aduba described the moment as “tender” and “important” to the identity of her character.

“The kiss is a greeting and a gesture of love that is tender,” Aduba said. “It does establish who they are as people, but it is not the singular identifier for who either of them are. Seeing a loving gay couple in a meaningful way is important for everybody.”

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