Disney's Onward Reportedly Banned in Multiple Middle East Markets Over Lesbian Reference

Pixar's latest animated feature, Onward, hit theaters today and is currently up on Rotten Tomatoes with an 86% critics score and 97% audience score. ComicBook.com's own Charlie Ridgely called the movie a "weird and wonderful tale," and gave it a 4 out of five rating. However, despite the movie's decent reviews, it's being banned in certain countries. According to Deadline, the small reference made to an LGBTQ character has caused the film to be removed in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. In Russia, the moment was censored so that the word “girlfriend” was changed to “partner” and avoids mentioning the lesbian character’s gender. Here's how Deadline describes the LGBTQ moment in the film:

"In the scene, the two lead characters, voiced by Chris Pratt and Tom Holland, are disguised as their mother’s centaur boyfriend, Officer Bronco, and get into a conversation about parenting with two female police officers. The purple cyclops officer named Specter, voiced by Lena Waithe, commiserates with Officer Bronco and says. 'It’s not easy being a new parent – my girlfriend’s daughter got me pulling my hair out, okay?'"

It's interesting that certain countries are banning the movie for one small reference while people in the United States are upset that the first openly LGBTQ animated Disney character is so minor. When the news was announced, many people took to Twitter to share their feelings, comparing the moment to Joe Russo's cameo in Avengers: Endgame and the lesbian kiss in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

While the opinions on the subject clearly vary, Waithe seems to be proud of her contribution to the movie and shared this article on Instagram last month:

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Lena Waithe (@lenawaithe) on

You can find the official description for Onward below.


"Set in a suburban fantasy world, Disney and Pixar’s Onward introduces two teenage elf brothers (voices of Chris Pratt and Tom Holland) who embark on an extraordinary quest to discover if there is still a little magic left out there. A new trailer and poster are now available, and new character posters were recently revealed, introducing cast members Mel Rodriguez, who voices Officer Colt Bronco; Lena Waithe, who lends her voice to Officer Specter; and Ali Wong, the voice of Officer Gore. Directed by Dan Scanlon and produced by Kori Rae."

Onward is now playing in theaters.

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