Toy Story fans have noticed that a sexist scene has been cut from Toy Story 2.
Most notably, the female characters in the film, Bo Peep and Mrs Potato Head, were a little lacking in their supporting roles. Mrs Potato head was the “angry wife”, while Bo Peep quietly acted as Woody’s moral compass.
However, fast forward 25 years and Bo Peep made a welcome return as a main character with a feminist transformation in Toy Story 4. Explaining the need for this update, Pixar’s directing animator Becki Tower recently told Stylist: “We wanted to pull her out of some of the stereotypes and let her be independent and unique.”
There’s clearly a focus on the films need to develop and learn along with its audience, especially after the entertainment industry’s #MeToo movement. This helps to explain another step that the franchise has now taken to tackle sexism in film.
A “blooper” scene involving harassment in Toy Story 2 has been deleted, according to fans on a Reddit thread. The outtake is one of the many fake bloopers played as part of credits after the film ends.
In the clip, villainous Stinky Pete the Prospector has a conversation with two Barbies who are trapped in his toy box. He caresses their hands, promising to get them a part in the next Toy Story film. After realising the camera is on him, he nervously says: “I’m sorry, are we back? Alright girls, lovely talking with you. Any time you’d like some tips on acting I’d be glad to chat with you.”
What makes this so uncomfortable is that the very act of an older man using his authority and power to get young women to exchange sexual acts for career opportunities is exactly what started #MeToo.
Watch the problematic Toy Story blooper reel here:
The decision to delete the scene was made after Pixar Animation Studios co-founder and Walt Disney Company animation chief John Lasseter permanently left Disney at the end of last year. There were allegations of misconduct and he has since made a statement apologising to staff for “missteps” that made the team feel “disrespected and uncomfortable”.
Rashida Jones also quit her writing role on Toy Story, citing “philosophical differences” over a lack of diversity at Pixar.
Although it’s great to know that the clip will be cut from new DVD releases of the 1999 film, this also highlights how much more work there has to be done in the #MeToo movement.
Images: Disney Pixar