Marvel’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” has been banned from theaters in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, the Hollywood Reporter reported on Friday.
The ban relates to the presence of a gay character in the upcoming Marvel blockbuster. According to reports, films containing LGBTQ + references are often censored or completely banned in many Persian Gulf countries because homosexuality is illegal there.
Marvel, owned by Walt Disney Co. DIS,
It had a similar situation with the 2021 film “Eternals”; It was a gay couple and was banned across the Persian Gulf from playing the first public gay superhero character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The film Dr. Strange features the American character Chavez, a lesbian hero who first appeared in Marvel Comics in 2011 – the character of Chavez is played by Joachim Gomez.
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Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, as well as other countries in the Persian Gulf, have censored the “West Side Story” film for its inclusion of a transgender character and for citing Pixar’s “onward” lesbian parents.
According to the report, the ban on these films applies to theatrical releases in those countries.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was originally scheduled to be released on May 5 across the Persian Gulf; The film is set to release in the United States in the first week of May.
Disney did not immediately respond to a request from MarketWatch for comment on the story.
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The news comes as Florida Gov. Ron Descentis is pushing for an end to Disney’s self-government rules in retaliation for the company’s comments on the “Parental Right to Education” law, which is unofficially known as the “Don’t Say Gay” Act. The law prohibits sexual orientation and gender identity instruction in kindergarten through third grade, a policy that checks and selects people who pose LGBTQ + people.
Dissentis had previously said that Disney had “crossed a line” by attacking the law.