Saudi Arabia, Qatar ban Dr Strange sequel for its openly lesbian superhero
- Saudi Arabia and Qatar have banned Dr Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
- The ban is applied as the movie features America Chavez, a lesbian superhero
- MCU's Eternals has also faced a ban before for its LGBTQ character
Disney and the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) have earned the wrath of Gulf censorship in what isn't the first time. Dr Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Benedict Cumberbatch’s sequel to the 2016 instalment, Dr Strange has been banned in Saudi Arabia and Qatar following allegations of portraying an openly lesbian superhero.
Rumors surrounding the bans began to surface early on Friday, and while they stand true for Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Kuwait has yet to announce whether they will apply there as well.
Though the film has yet to hit theatres, Middle East media indicate that the ban is related to concerns regarding LGBTQ themes. The upcoming sequel features superhero America Chavez, who as per the comics, is a lesbian. This decision parallels the conservative culture in many countries, where homosexuality is outlawed and any depiction of it in the media is prohibited. And that is why the much-anticipated sequel, like many other movies before, has failed the censorship screening.
The movie was set to be released in the Gulf on May 5. While advanced tickets for the film are no longer accessible on the websites of cinema halls in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar, they are still available in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), implying that the emirate does not plan to put a ban to the movie, yet.
Previously, ‘Eternals’ was also banned in the Gulf due to the representation of same-sex relationships. Reportedly, Disney was unwilling to make modifications that the censors demanded.
In related news, China has muffled the dialogues between Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) and Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) in Fantastic Beasts 3: The Secrets of Dumbledore owing to the overtly gay renderings of their characters in the movie.