Toy Story’s #MeToo moment: Casting couch ‘blooper’ cut by Disney

Removed scene features Stinky Pete behaving inappropriately with Barbie dolls

#MeToo moment: Stinky Pete is caught behaving inappropriately with Barbie dolls in the fake blooper

#MeToo moment: Stinky Pete is caught behaving inappropriately with Barbie dolls in the fake blooper

 

Disney has quietly deleted a fake blooper scene from Toy Story 2, featuring a “casting couch” scenario, from the latest home releases of the animated film.

A running gag in Pixar’s films are the faux out-takes that play alongside the closing credits, depicting the animated characters making mistakes, pulling pranks on each other, fudging their lines or speaking directly to camera, as if they were real actors. The out-takes regularly make fun of Hollywood and the film industry more broadly.

The now-deleted scene from the 1999 film featured the character Stinky Pete the Prospector, a small, rotund, bearded toy, caught chatting salaciously to two Barbie dolls, stroking their hands and suggesting he could get them a part in the next movie.

The scene reflects the practice within the entertainment industry of executives and men with power requesting or demanding sex acts from subordinates in exchange for career opportunities or promotion. The practice gained widespread condemnation after the #MeToo movement, particularly after the allegations of sexual misconduct from multiple women against the film mogul Harvey Weinstein.

The scene deletion was discovered last month by users in online forums and on sites like Reddit, and reported by the independent film site Rereleasenews.com. It reportedly affects both Blu-Ray and download versions.

The deletion also comes after John Lasseter, the cofounder of Pixar Animation Studios and animation chief of the Walt Disney Company, left Disney at the end of last year in the wake of the #MeToo movement, after allegations of misconduct and what he referred to as unspecified “mis-steps” in his behaviour towards colleagues.

Lasseter, who directed Toy Story 2, said in a statement in November 2017 that it had been brought to his attention that he had made some colleagues “feel disrespected or uncomfortable”.

“I especially want to apologise to anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of an unwanted hug or any other gesture they felt crossed the line in any way, shape, or form,” he said. “No matter how benign my intent, everyone has the right to set their own boundaries and have them respected.”

The Toy Story franchise has been one of Pixar and Disney’s most successful, in terms of both box-office takings and critical acclaim. The first film in the series was released in 1995. Disney purchased Pixar Animation Studios in 2006.

The most recent instalment of the series, Toy Story 4, was released in June. It was not without its own controversies, with the Parks and Recreation star Rashida Jones quitting her writing role on the film, citing “philosophical differences” over a lack of diversity at Pixar.

Disney has been approached for comment. – Guardian