Keke Palmer on Lightyear: ‘we’re just depicting life and love the way that exists’

Lightyear, Disney Pixar’s Buzz Lightyear origin story, has been making headlines because its cast keeps getting asked their thoughts on {dramatic pause} The Kiss. Yes, there is a kiss between a female main character and her partner in a loving relationship in an animated Disney film. Chris Evans, who voices Buzz in the film, said he thinks its inclusion should be the norm and people who are upset about it are idiots. Keke Palmer is also in Lightyear and voices the granddaughter of Uzo Aduba’s kissing character. She thinks the depiction of the kiss is progress and representative of real life.

The 28-year-old actor voices Izzy Hawthorne in the new Pixar movie, which serves as an origin story for ‘Toy Story’ icon Buzz Lightyear, and is impressed with the diversity in the film – which has been banned in some Middle Eastern countries for a same-sex kiss.

Keke told the i newspaper: “Disney, Pixar, there’s a wide audience, and a lot of their audience is obviously LGBTQ+, women, Black women… people that want to be represented in films.

“So, yes, 100 per cent, I think it is progress. Obviously, we can’t expect for film and television to always be the reason why people decide to respect one another. But I think it’s a step in the right direction. And I think the way that it’s illustrated in the film is normal… we’re just depicting life and love the way that exists in our world

[From Bang Showbiz via Towleroad]

Keke is obviously right. The inclusion of The Kiss is literally just showing a normal relationship, millions of which do exist in our world whether people like it or not. It is long overdue progress for Disney to finally include some very clear LGBTQ+ affection in their movies. And c’mon, it’s Disney — pretty much all their movie kisses are chaste and perfunctory pecks. This one was never going to be some risqué thing, people are just scandalized because it’s between two characters of the same sex. Similar to what Hecate wrote, I guess I’ve lived in New York too long because it’s crazy to me that this was a big deal when I literally see similar kisses every day. Again, proving Keke’s point that it’s just depicting life and love in the real world. Personally, I think the bigger story is that The Kiss had to be readded to the movie. As in, Pixar had it in the original cut, Disney removed it, and then reinstated it after the staff statement. I wish execs would have to answer interview questions about that.

photos credit: and via Instagram

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7 Responses to “Keke Palmer on Lightyear: ‘we’re just depicting life and love the way that exists’”

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  1. Carobell says:

    Saw it this weekend with my 5yo. The version I saw had no kiss, they leaned in and then cut away. Honestly, that part of the plot wasn’t important in any sense other than to show that the character Keke played was moving on with life despite the circumstances, while Buzz wasn’t. It was an interesting animated discussion about grief and regret and what it does to us. Was it a good movie? Meh. It was fine, it was 15 minutes and one or two scenes to long.

    • North of Boston says:

      Where did you see it?

      I’m wondering because Disney said they *weren’t* going to cut it to please certain markets but from what you’re saying they did.

      • Carobell says:

        I saw it in the Philadelphia suburbs at a local non-chain theatre, which might have made the difference.

      • smcollins says:

        I also saw it over the weekend with my 8-year-old and the kiss was in the movie. We live in a rural area of eastern Maryland, very MAGA, but it was at Regal Cinema so that may be why it wasn’t cut out. It was so brief and casual, and fit with the scene it was a part of (a quick glimpse of an anniversary celebration), I really don’t get what all the fuss was about (I mean I *do* but you know…). I’m glad it was in the version we saw and the way it was depicted was very natural and “part-of-life”, as it should be.

      • kgeo says:

        I live in Arkansas, and it was in the movie here. I didn’t see anyone get up and leave. Though I live in one of our metropolitan areas, it isn’t really that big. I saw plenty of people that I would have thought might take issue with the kiss, but it came and went, so maybe that’s on me for being judgy of lady mullets. We really enjoyed the movie.

  2. Pix says:

    My kids LOVED this movie. The younger one loved Alicia and did have questions about the same sex relationship. I’m a fan.

  3. KansasGal says:

    “we can’t expect for film and television to always be the reason why people decide to respect one another. But I think it’s a step in the right direction.”

    Love this quote. Very down to earth. She isn’t claiming that artists have super powers to change individuals and the world, but they can be part of the solution. And it starts with representation.