Chris Evans Calls Critics of 'Lightyear' 's Gay Kiss 'Idiots': 'Always Going to Be People Who Are Afraid'

"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," Chris Evans said

Chris Evans Buzz Lightyear

Chris Evans is standing by Lightyear's decision to feature a same-sex kiss between two female characters.

The 41-year-old actor — who voices the title role in the Disney/Pixar animated film — called out critics of the movie's moment in a new interview Monday, slamming those who feel the kiss promotes a pro-gay agenda.

Asked about the controversy, Evans told Reuters Television, "the real truth is those people are idiots."

"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," he said. "I think the goal is to pay them no mind, march forward and embrace the growth that makes us human."

For more on what Chris Evans had to say about Lightyear critics , listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day.

He went on to applaud Disney/Pixar's efforts to reflect diversity.

"Every time there's been social advancement as we wake up, the American story, the human story is one of constant social awakening and growth and that's what makes us good," Evans said.

Lightyear trailer

Lightyear tells the origin story of Buzz Lightyear, the hero who inspired the action figure made famous in the Toy Story films.

The new movie, directed by Angus MacLane, introduces viewers to Alisha Hawthorne, a female space ranger voiced by Uzo Aduba. In one scene, milestone moments from Hawthrone's life are shown in a montage, including moment in which she briefly kisses her wife.

While many have championed the inclusion of LGBTQ+ representation in the Disney/Pixar film, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have banned the Toy Story spin-off. On Monday, the UAE's Media Regulatory Office tweeted that Lightyear is "not licensed for public screening in all cinemas in the UAE, due to its violation of the country's media content standards."

The kiss was cut from Lightyear at one point, but back in March, Variety reported that the embrace was put back into the film, reportedly in response to Disney and Pixar staff uproar over Disney CEO Bob Chapek's initial response to Florida's so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill.

At the time, the outlet obtained a letter written by Pixar employees claiming that Disney censored same-sex affection in some of their recent movies, like Turning Red. "We at Pixar have personally witnessed beautiful stories, full of diverse characters, come back from Disney corporate reviews shaved down to crumbs of what they once were. Even if creating LGBTQIA+ content was the answer to fixing the discriminatory legislation in the world, we are being barred from creating it."

Earlier this month, Evans championed Disney/Pixar's decision reinstate the moment into the movie. "It's great that it's back in the film," he told Vanity Fair. "I think it's a shame that it's such a story. It should be more normalized, but I'm glad we are making those steps."

Added Aduba, 41, "It's incredible, and a real hats off to Disney and Pixar for having that kiss be a part of this story. The kiss is a greeting and a gesture of love that is tender. It does establish who they are as people, but it is not the singular identifier for who either of them are. Seeing a loving gay couple in a meaningful way is important for everybody."

Galyn Susman, a Lightyear producer, told Vanity Fair that it was "important" to "represent everybody" in the movie: "Representation is huge for us, and we want to make connections with as many people as possible. Alisha and her wife have a relationship that lasts an entire lifetime. We don't have enough movies that show relationships that last an entire life, and that's aspirational."

Scott Evans, Chris Evans
Chris (R) and Scott Evans. John Lamparski/Getty

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Evans has long been a vocal ally of the LGBTQ+ community, previously saying that having a gay brother — actor Scott Evans — and sisters helped him "cultivate compassion and understanding" for other people.

"It's important to experience anything different from what you know," he previously told TheFIX.

"I've never felt any sort of backlash or friction as a result of the stance I've taken in my career in support of [my brother] or any other human rights," the Captain America star added. "Hopefully, it stays that way going forward."

Lightyear soars into theaters nationwide Friday.

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