Chris Evans has a clear message for those who object to increasing diversity and representation on-screen: “Those people are idiots.”
The “Lightyear” star, who plays Buzz Lightyear in the upcoming Disney-Pixar film that also features a same-sex kiss, threw his unequivocal support behind weaving progressive social values into storytelling.
“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,” he told Reuters Television in a recent interview.
“Lightyear,” which premieres Friday, has been banned from 11 countries in the Middle East, reportedly for featuring a kiss between a same-sex couple and a relationship involving a female space ranger voiced by Uzo Aduba. Other recent blockbusters that have been censored for showcasing LGBTQ+ characters or content include “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” “Eternals” and “West Side Story.”
Commenting on the inevitable pushback to storylines like “Lightyear”s, Evans added, “There’s always going to be people who are afraid and unaware and trying to hold on to what was before. But those people die off like dinosaurs.”
He continued: “I think the goal is to pay them no mind, march forward and embrace the growth that makes us human.”
Co-star Keke Palmer, who plays an ambitious mission recruit, also weighed in on potential backlash to the film, which tells the story behind the “Toy Story” action figure Buzz Lightyear.
“I would say to those people, just like with Buzz… refurbish your idea of tradition,” said Palmer. “Understand that it’s now, ‘To infinity and beyond.’ It’s time to move forward, it’s time to accept and look and you know, enjoy all the faces that have always been there.”
“They’ve always been a part of the picture,” she continued. “You just tried to paint them out.”