The far-reaching #MeToo and Time’s Up movements have hit the Walt Disney Co yet again, resulting in the reported deletion of a 20-year-old casting-couch scene in ‘Toy Story 2’.
The scene, which appears in a faux blooper reel at the end of the 1999 animated film, is no longer part of new home-entertainment releases, according to several reports. That likely means it also won’t appear on the streaming version of the film when Disney launches Disney+ in November.
The deletion was first noted in online forums when Disney re-released the ‘Toy Story’ trilogy on 4K, Blu-ray, DVD and digital HD formats ahead of ‘Toy Story 4’s’ theatrical release in June.
The outtake-style clip features Tom Hanks’ Woody interrupting a surreptitious meeting between the collectible Prospector toy, Stinky Pete, and twin Barbie dolls inside a toy box. Pete, a villain in the film, ogles, strokes and suggestively talks to the dolls and implies that he can get them parts in ‘Toy Story 3’.
The so-called casting couch — when bosses lord their power over fledgling actresses and actors — has essentially become a microcosm of the power imbalance in Hollywood and beyond. It looks like Disney recognised that its mere suggestion no longer has a place in its family-friendly films.
The move is the latest in Disney’s recent history of course-correcting, which includes updates to its Pirates of the Caribbean ride at its theme parks and other tweaks. The studio has also become more self-aware and self-referential, updating stereotypical narratives for its iconic princesses in films such as ‘Moana’, ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ and the live-action ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Aladdin’ and ‘Ariel The Mermaid’ remakes.
The monolithic Walt Disney Co. faced its own Time’s Up reckoning last summer when it ended its relationship with Pixar Animation co-founder John Lasseter, who was accused of misconduct. Lasseter, who co-directed ‘Toy Story 2’ incidentally, later joined the animation division of Skydance Media, but was publicly shamed during the comeback, particularly in an open letter from actress Emma Thompson, who refused to work with him.