Disney quietly deleted a sexual misconduct joke from the latest release of Toy Story 2, which was directed by John Lasseter, the former Pixar CCO who was ousted when allegations of sexual misconduct against him were reported during the #MeToo and Time's Up movements. In the early days of Pixar, the movies typically included faux bloopers during their credits, little animated scenes of the characters messing up their lines or experiencing other gaffes while "filming." It was a spin on the practice of live-action films including bloopers in the credits during an era before full blooper reels were added as extras on a movie's home release.
Released in 1999 as the sequel to 1995's Toy Story, Toy Story 2 was directed by Lasseter from a story he helped write. It marked the third theatrical release from Pixar, then still a fledgling animation studio. Lasseter was instrumental to the studio's rise, directing all three of its first features (Toy Story, A Bug's Life and Toy Story 2). He eventually rose to the rank of Chief Creative Officer and was a key figure at Pixar through its acquisition by Disney in 2006, until Lasseter eventually resigned in 2018. Lasseter was the subject of a report that laid out years of sexual misconduct while he was Pixar, ranging from sexual harassment to "grabbing" and "kissing" female employees. Now, Disney has quietly edited out a joke from Toy Story 2 that is particularly tasteless considering Lasseter's now-public behavior at Pixar.
As reported by Rerelease News, fans noticed that the release of the Toy Story films on 4K Blu-ray has removed one particular blooper joke from the Toy Story 2 credits. The scene features Woody approaching Stinky Pete (voiced by Kelsey Grammer), who's caught in the middle of a casting couch-style interaction with two Barbie dolls. Pete says, while chuckling lasciviously, "And so you two are absolutely identical? Y'know I'm sure I could get you a part in Toy Story 3." But when Pete realizes he's on camera, he quickly changes his tone to one of a mentor and shoos the girls away. Now, the new release of Toy Story 2 no longer includes this scene in the credits. The full Toy Story 2 credits can be seen here, with the now-deleted scene beginning at the 3:20 mark.
It's clear why Disney and/or Pixar decided to remove the scene, since it makes a joke out of the very serious problem plaguing Hollywood, one that's only truly starting to be rectified in recent years by so many people coming forward with their stories. What's come to be known as the #MeToo or Time's Up Movement kicked off in October 2017 with the publication of an exposé about Harvey Weinstein, detailing decades of alleged sexual misconduct in Hollywood. It ultimately lead to the movie producer facing consequences for his actions, including being ousted from the Academy and his own production company, as well as facing rape charges. In the months since, stories about other men have been published, including Lasseter.
Considering the changing attitudes in Hollywood coupled with Pixar's own history with Lasseter, it makes sense that the studios rereleasing Toy Story 2 would remove a tasteless joke. Disney has become notorious for editing out jokes or scenes from its movies that are no longer acceptable, but it's arguable whether that's good or not. Certainly, there will be those that argue it's impossible to learn from mistakes when those same mistakes are being erased. However, in the case of a children's movie, many might feel it's best not to expose young viewers to an incredibly tasteless joke in a movie directed by a man who allegedly fostered an unsafe working environment for women. Nevertheless, it was Disney and/or Pixar's call to make, and they decided to delete the Toy Story 2 joke from all future releases of the movie.
Source: Rerelease News