Disney has cut a brief scene featuring Star Wars’ first same-sex kiss from its new movie “The Rise of Skywalker” in Singapore, a country where same-sex marriage is illegal and sex between men is punishable by up to two years in prison.
The country’s media regulatory body said Disney removed the brief kiss at the end of the film between two minor female characters to preserve the film’s PG-13 rating in Singapore, according to The Guardian.
“The applicant has omitted a brief scene which under the film classification guidelines would require a higher rating,” a spokesperson from Infocomm Media Development Authority said.
The next-highest rating in the country, NC-16, would have barred children under 16 from attending screenings of the movie.
While sex between men is punishable by up to two years in prison, though the law is silent on sex between women, according to The Guardian.
Singaporean censorship guidelines state that films containing LGBT themes or content as a subplot may be restricted to viewers aged 18 and above. Films that focus on homosexuality may be slapped with a 21-and-over rating.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, multiple people who had seen the film in Dubai reported that the same-sex kiss scene had been removed.
Disney has not responded to requests for comment from multiple media outlets.
Director J.J. Abrams in an interview this month responded to some of the criticism surrounding the kiss scene, saying he saw the kiss between the two women as a chance to depict an LGBTQ relationship “without it being heavy-handed or making too loud of a deal.”
“Part of the whole experience was to see a same-sex couple have a moment together that was explicitly saying in this galaxy, everyone is there and is welcome,” he told MovieZine.