Disney recently marked the opening of “Toy Story 4” by re-releasing the entire animated franchise on 4K, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD, but not every entry was the same as when the studio first released it. Deadline reports Disney quietly removed a scene from “Toy Story 2” for the new release. The scene in question occurred during the end credit bloopers and featured the character Stinky Pete (the villainous toy voiced by Kelsey Grammar) inside a toy box with two Barbie dolls. Stinky Pete grabs one of their hands and says he can help get them roles in the next “Toy Story” movie, only to discover he is being filmed. The character becomes flustered and escorts the Barbie dolls out of the box.
In the wake of the #MeToo and Time’s Up anti-harassment movement, it was impossible not to view the scene as problematic. Stinky Pete’s lecherous behavior brings to mind Hollywood’s casting couch abuse problem, in which young actors are forced to trade sexual favors for roles. IndieWire has reached out to Disney for further comment.
The removal of the questionable “Toy Story 2” scene arrives after Disney and Pixar have had personal issues with sexual harassment in the workplace. John Lasseter, the director of “Toy Story 2” and the former chief creative officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar, was accused of sexual harassment and inappropriate work conduct in November 2017. Rashida Jones, one of the original writers on “Toy Story 4,” was one of the women who came forward and said Lasseter acted inappropriately with her. Lasseter stepped down from his position and left the company in December 2018.
As for “Toy Story,” the animated franchise returned to the big screen this year with “Toy Story 4.” The sequel earned universal acclaim (IndieWire’s senior film critic David Ehrlich said the film was the perfect ending for the franchise) and topped the box office during its first two weekend of release. Through July 2, “Toy Story 4” has earned over half a billion dollars at the worldwide box office.
“Toy Story 4” is now playing in theaters nationwide.