Patricia Heaton Ignites Social Media Firestorm, Accusing Disney of ‘Castrating’ Buzz Lightyear

 By Billy Hallowell


“Everybody Loves Raymond” star Patricia Heaton lit up Twitter recently when she accused Disney/Pixar of making “a HUGE mistake” by not casting fellow actor Tim Allen in “Lightyear,” the new film telling the backstory of iconic “Toy Story” character Buzz Lightyear.


Heaton noted the fascinating fact Allen has played Buzz Lightyear throughout all four installments of the “Toy Story” franchise. But now actor Chris Evans of Marvel Cinematic Universe fame has picked up the role of the iconic character in “Lightyear.”


Despite the change, Evans has honored Allen’s legacy while promoting the film. “The reason we’re doing this movie is because Tim Allen made such an iconic impact,” Evans told USA Today. “Not only would you be a fool to not take his interpretation, because it worked so well, but the truth is this character is, in fact, the human version of that toy, so there does need to be overlap in terms of their cadence and nature.”


Heaton, for her part, contended Allen should have reprised the role in this latest iteration of the Lightyear saga and seemed shocked Disney/Pixar didn’t go that route. “Saw the trailer for Buzz Lightyear, and all I can say is Disney/Pixar made a HUGE mistake in not casting my pal [Tim Allen],” Heaton wrote. “Tim Allen in the role that he originated, the role that he owns. Tim IS Buzz! Why would they completely castrate this iconic, beloved character?


Heaton’s comments sparked an array of responses from fans and followers. Some said Disney is now too “woke” to hire Allen for the role; others supported the change, arguing the Lightyear character in “Toy Story” isn’t the same as the character in the new film.


Some also seemed to ponder whether Disney’s decision not to cast Allen was predicated on his conservative politics. After all, ABC — owned by Disney — infamously canceled his show “Last Man Standing,” despite its strong ratings, sparking speculation about whether his worldview played a role.


It should be noted, though, Allen is reprising his famed role in “The Santa Clause” franchise, starring in a limited release series slated for Disney+ this fall. “Last Man Standing” creator Jack Burditt will also executive produce the series, so it seems Disney isn’t cutting Allen off and is, in fact, actively working with him.


Regardless, Disney has been under fire recently for its quest to include LGBT content in its movies and TV shows. “Lightyear” is one such project that includes a same-sex relationship, violating the biblical definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman.


Executives have reportedly indicated they plan additional content with similar themes in the future. Some critics speculate these changes are having a negative impact on the massive entertainment company.


As previously reported, a poll conducted by Hart Research Associates recently found just a mere 33% of American respondents had a “very” or “somewhat” positive view of The Walt Disney Company. Last year, Public Opinion Strategies, a different firm, found Disney was viewed favorably by 77% of respondents.

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