“Lightyear” producers are speaking out about why they passed on hiring Tim Allen for the new blockbuster Disney flick — amid whispers he was snubbed because of his conservative political beliefs.
Allen, 69, famously voiced the Buzz Lightyear action figure in all four “Toy Story” movies, so fans are surprised the actor isn’t involved in the new spinoff movie, set for release on Friday. Instead, Chris Evans was recruited to provide the voice of the famous fictional space ranger in the film.
Actress Patricia Heaton, who’s also an outspoken conservative working in liberal Hollywood, took a swipe at Disney on Tuesday for failing to include Allen in the new project, writing on Twitter: “Saw the trailer for Buzz Lightyear and all I can say is Disney/Pixar made a HUGE mistake in not casting my pal Tim Allen in the role that he originated, the role that he owns. Tim IS Buzz! Why would they completely castrate this iconic, beloved character?”
But those involved in the “Lightyear” movie are now responding, saying the decision to exclude Allen was due to creative choices and was in no way connected to his politics.
“Tim Allen is Buzz Lightyear the toy,” “Lightyear” producer Galyn Susman stated, according to Yahoo. “We weren’t making a ‘Toy Story’ movie. We’re making Buzz Lightyear’s movie.”
Indeed, “Lightyear” is an origin story that revolves around the “real” space ranger, whose daring adventures inspired the action figure, which was famously voiced by Allen and owned by a child named Andy in the original “Toy Story” films.
“Lightyear” director Angus MacLane further explained in an interview with Vanity Fair: “Tim’s version of Buzz is a little goofier and is a little dumber, and so he is 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 undercut the drama. Chris Evans has the gravitas and that movie-star quality that our character needed to separate him and the movie from Tim’s version of the toy in ‘Toy Story.’”
However, Heaton doesn’t seem convinced, taking to Twitter to pen a follow-up post, in which she stated: “OK, so the current Buzz Lightyear movie is an origin story — but the reason the character became so beloved is because of what [Tim Allen] created. Why remove the one element that makes us want to see it?”
Some of Heaton’s fans replied, claiming Allen was getting snubbed because of his conservative views.
“Disney makes ALL decisions with political implications in mind,” one skeptical commenter wrote. “Tim Allen is conservative so no longer suitable for hire in a Disney production. Stop with the ‘this is not the toy’ or other spin. You know and I know why Allen didn’t voice Buzz.”
As for Allen, he has yet to weigh in on the situation. The Post has reached out to the actor for comment.
Last year, Allen’s “Last Man Standing” sitcom was canceled by Disney-owned ABC, which outraged fans attributed to the fact that the family comedy highlighted conservative values. However, the network denied that the decision was based on politics.
The actor hasn’t actually been snubbed by Disney, with the star recently signing 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 promulgating “perpetual victimhood” with her tweets.
“Tim Allen is a multi-millionaire with a Disney+ project in the works,” he wrote. “Life is very good for him. All shall be well.”
Meanwhile, Evans has defended the new “Lightyear” movie after it was criticized by some pundits for featuring a same-sex kiss.
In the flick, a female character named Hawthorne kisses her wife in a brief scene that depicts milestones in the character’s life.
The movie has subsequently been banned in 14 countries, according to the Independent.
“The real truth is, those people are idiots,” stated Evans, 41, during an interview with Reuters that was released Tuesday. “There’s always going to be people who are afraid and unaware and trying to hold on to what was before. But those people die off like dinosaurs. I think the goal is to pay them no mind, march forward and embrace the growth that makes us human.”