Lightyear producers talk about why they didn’t hire Tim Allen for the new blockbuster Disney flick – amid whispers that he was snubbed for his conservative political beliefs.
Allen, 69, famously voiced the Buzz Lightyear action character in all four Toy Story movies, so fans are surprised the actor isn’t involved in the new spinoff movie, which is due out Friday. Instead, Chris Evans was recruited to provide the voice of the famous fictional space ranger in the film.
Actress Patricia Heaton, who is also an outspoken conservative working in liberal Hollywood, took a swipe at Disney on Tuesday for not including Allen in the new project. write on twitter: “I saw the trailer for Buzz Lightyear and all I can say is that Disney/Pixar made a HUGE mistake by not casting my buddy Tim Allen in the role he created, the role that he owns. Tim IS Buzz! Why would they completely castrate this iconic, beloved character?”
But those involved in the Lightyear film are now responding, saying the decision to exclude Allen was a result of creative choices and had nothing to do with his politics.
“Tim Allen is Buzz Lightyear the toy,” said Lightyear producer Galyn Susman, according to Yahoo. “We didn’t do a ‘Toy Story’ movie. We’re doing Buzz Lightyear’s film.”
In fact, “Lightyear” is an origin story revolving around the “real life” space ranger whose daring adventures inspired the action figure, voiced by Allen in the original “Toy Story” films, and owned by a child named Andy.
Lightyear director Angus MacLane further explained in an interview with Vanity Fair, “Tim’s version of Buzz is a little bit sillier and a little bit dumber, so he’s the comic relief.”
He added, “In this film, Buzz is the action hero. He’s serious and ambitious and funny, but not in a goofy way that would undermine the drama. Chris Evans has the seriousness and movie star quality that our character needed to differentiate him and the film from Tim’s version of the toy in Toy Story.”
However, Heaton doesn’t seem convinced, writing on Twitter a follow-up postin which she explained, “Okay, so the current Buzz Lightyear movie is an origin story — but the reason the character became so popular is why [Tim Allen] created. Why remove the one element that makes us want to see it?”
Some of Heaton’s fans responded, claiming Allen had been snubbed for his conservative views.
“Disney makes ALL decisions with political implications in mind.” wrote one skeptical commenter. “Tim Allen is conservative and therefore no longer suitable to be cast in a Disney production. Stop the “This isn’t the toy” or any other spin. You know and I know why Allen didn’t voice Buzz.”
As for Allen, he has yet to weigh the situation. The Post has reached out to the actor for comment.
Last year, Allen’s sitcom Last Man Standing was canceled by ABC, leading outraged fans to blame the family comedy for its emphasis on conservative values. However, the network denied that the decision was based on politics.
The actor wasn’t exactly snubbed by Disney, as the star recently signed a deal with the company to star and executive produce a Disney+ series based on his hit 1990s film The Santa Clause.
Writer Wajahat Ali accused Heaton of spreading “perpetual victimhood” with her tweets.
“Tim Allen is a multimillionaire with a Disney+ project in the works” he wrote. “Life is very good for him. Everything will be fine.”
Meanwhile, Evans has defended the new Lightyear movie after being criticized by some experts for depicting a same-sex kiss.
In the strip, a female character named Hawthorne kisses her wife in a brief scene depicting milestones in the character’s life.
The film was subsequently banned in 14 countries, according to the Independent.
“The real truth is these people are idiots,” Evans, 41, said during an interview with Reuters published on Tuesday. “There will always be people who are scared and unaware and trying to hold on to what came before. But these people are dying like dinosaurs. I think the goal is to ignore them, to march forward and embrace the growth that makes us human.”