People are accusing Disney of censoring a kiss between two female video game characters

Naughty Dog
  • During an E3 livestream hosted by Disney XD, the stream appeared to be censored right after two female characters shared a kiss on stream.
  • Disney XD, a kid-focused channel, said the censorship was actually in anticipation of a violent scene that immediately followed the kiss.
  • People are wondering why the kid-friendly channel was streaming M-rated games in the first place.

Disney has been criticised online after it appeared to censor one of the most-discussed moments of E3 2018, in which two female characters kiss during a cutscene – but Disney says it was a misunderstanding.

A YouTube video uploaded by user Richard Crosby, shows the screen cutting out after the kiss – a moment that received praise for its impressive animation.

The kiss in question came during the presentation of “The Last of Us II,” when the protagonist, Ellie, kisses another female character at a dance. After a few seconds, the stream cut out. However, Disney claims that this was in anticipation of an upcoming, violent scene, which takes place immediately after the kiss and shows Ellie stabbing a man in the throat multiple times. The rest of the nearly 12-minute gameplay trailer includes multiple deaths, including stabbings, shootings, and a hanging.

Disney was streaming E3 through their kid-focused channel, Disney XD, through a partnership with IGN. Throughout E3, various awkward attempts were made by Disney to censor violence on-screen, including blurring the entire screen for a few seconds once violence was noticed. It’s unclear why Disney XD, a kids channel, was livestreaming E3, a video game event featuring dozens of violent games.

“The Disney XD policy does not allow for gratuitous violence in programming that children may be viewing,” a Disney spokesperson said.

Crosby, the uploader of the video, updated the YouTube description, explaining that he was initially confused by the apparent censorship, but later came to accept Disney’s explanation – although their censorship of violence had been messy and inconsistent throughout the stream.

“After the stream was taken down, the scene faded to some violent gameplay footage, which included blood and gore as well as profanity,” Crosby said. “For viewers of the television broadcast, myself included, this was not immediately apparent and gave the impression that the stream was cut because of the kiss itself, a view which was further compounded by the apparent lack of censorship seen earlier in the day when other violent games were being covered.”

Crosby continued to question why M-rated games were being streamed on a kid-friendly channel in the first place, and added that he apologizes that “this video sparked the controversy that it did and I hope that all of us take away something positive from this.”

Watch the full gameplay trailer here:

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