Steven Spielberg's ‘West Side Story’ banned in these Middle Eastern countries
- “West Side Story” releases elsewhere in theaters on Friday
- The new version comes 60 years after the original movie
- It features Rachel Zegler and Ansel Elgort as star-crossed lovers
“West Side Story,” director Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the classic musical, has been banned in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait.
Also Read: Steven Spielberg’s 'West Side Story' to release in India on Dec 10
In Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, the Disney and 20th Century’s film wasn’t granted a release certificate. In other countries, such as Qatar and Oman, Disney refused to comply with cuts requested by censors, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
It was obvious for the film to face censor issue as the countries have strict censorship mandates regarding sexuality, swearing, and other aspects that don’t comply with the nation’s cultural views.
It is said that Censors were not convinced with Anybodys, a character who is transgender and portrayed by non-binary actor Iris Menas, in the film.
Films with LGBTQ references have been regularly targeted by censors in the Middle East, as well as China. In the past, Disney’s comic book epic “Eternals” was pulled from release across the same region due to the inclusion of Marvel’s first openly same-sex couple.
Also Read: Most delightful family affair I've had since 'ET': Steven Spielberg on directing 'West Side Story'
“West Side Story” is set to release in other parts on Friday.
The new version comes 60 years after the original movie that was also adapted from the 1957 Broadway show. The film features Rachel Zegler and Ansel Elgort as star-crossed lovers.
The cast also includes Ariana DeBose as Anita, David Alvarez as Bernardo, Mike Faist as Riff, and Rita Moreno.