Pixar's Onward banned in four Gulf States over homosexual reference

"It's not easy being a parent - my girlfriend's daughter got me pulling my hair out, OK?" Specter, voiced by Lena Waithe, says in the movie.

Pixar Animation Studios (photo credit: FLICKR)
Pixar Animation Studios
(photo credit: FLICKR)
Disney-Pixar's new animated family feature Onward has been banned in four Gulf States – Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman – because the film references a same-sex relationship.
In the movie, two elves, who are brothers, embark on a quest to bring their father back to life. They meet police officer Specter, Pixar's first openly gay character, and enter into a discussion with her about parenting.
"It's not easy being a parent. My girlfriend's daughter got me pulling my hair out, OK?" Specter, voiced by Lena Waithe, says in the movie.
Disney-Pixar announced the move to feature the production company's first openly gay character last month. The move was unintended, however, as Waithe told Variety it was her idea to use the world "girlfriend" instead of "husband."
"I said, 'Can I say the word girlfriend – is that cool?'" Waithe told Variety. "I was just like, 'It sounds weird.' I even have a gay voice, I think. I don't think I sound right saying 'husband.' They were like, 'Oh yeah, do that.' They were so cool and chilled. And it ended up being something special."
In Russia, censors decided that instead of banning the movie from theaters completely they would change the word from "girlfriend' to "partner," adding that they will refrain from referring to the character's gender as well, according to the Deadline.
With the reference, the movie will be shown in other Middle Eastern countries such as Lebanon, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain.
Onward debuted this weekend with ticket sales of $40 million, enough to lead box office charts but still a somewhat disappointing start given the studio's near-flawless track record when it comes to animated fare. Internationally, the film brought in $28 million for a global tally of $68 million.

Reuters contributed to this report.