Disney deletes controversial scene from “Toy Story 2”

Appeared to joke about casting couch sex

Jason Silverstein – CBS News

Disney quietly deleted a scene from “Toy Story 2” that appeared to joke about casting couch sex — a widely discussed topic when the #MeToo movement hit Hollywood. The change was made, with no announcement, to a new version of the 1999 hit that came out earlier this year.

The deleted scene came during a gag reel in the end credits, which shows blooper-style scenes involving the film’s animated characters. It depicts the character Stinky Pete the Prospector, voiced by Kelsey Grammer, flirting with two Barbie dolls.

“You know, I’m sure I could get you a part in ‘Toy Story 3,'” Stinky Pete says, as he strokes one of the Barbies’ hands. He then realizes he’s on camera and excuses the Barbies. “All right girls, lovely talking with you,” he says. “Yes, any time you’d like some tips on acting, I’d be glad to chat with you. All right, off you go, then.”

The joke alludes to the notorious practice of the “casting couch,” with performers being offered potential roles in exchange for sexual favors. Several actresses alleged that disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein did this to them or sabotaged their careers if they refused. Weinstein has been accused of sexual assault or misconduct by more than 80 women, and is facing rape and abuse charges in New York. He has denied all accusations.

The director of “Toy Story 2,” Pixar co-founder John Lasseter, faced his own sexual misconduct allegations in 2017. By then, he was the chief creative officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar. Several female employees accused him of inappropriately touching them in the office. Lasseter took a sabbatical after the accusations emerged, and in a company memo he acknowledged “missteps” that made colleagues feel “disrespected or uncomfortable.” He left the company last year and now heads Skydance Animation, a new company with several films in the works.

The movie site ReRelease News first reported on the deleted scene, which is removed from the Blu-ray and digital downloads of “Toy Story 2.” The site also produced a video showing the differences between the new and old versions of the film’s end credits. Disney did not immediately comment to CBS News.

The latest installment in the franchise, “Toy Story 4,” came out in June, and has grossed nearly $250 million in the U.S. Lasseter, who also directed the first “Toy Story,” received a story credit for the latest sequel.