Saudi, Disney at odds over ‘LGBTQ references’ in Marvel film

Saudi, Disney at odds over ‘LGBTQ references’ in Marvel film

Saudi, Disney at odds over ‘LGBTQ references’ in Marvel film

Saudi, Disney at odds over ‘LGBTQ references’ in Marvel film

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Saudi Arabia has requested Disney to reduce “LGBTQ references” from its contemporary Marvel superhero film earlier than it is able to be screened in the country, a professional advised AFP on Monday.

Disney has to date declined the asked edits to the movie “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”, slated for launch in early May, that amount to “slightly 12 seconds” wherein a lesbian man or woman, America Chavez, refers to her ” moms”, stated Nawaf Alsabhan, Saudi Arabia’s standard manager of cinema category.

“It’s just her talking about her moms, because she has two moms. And being in the Middle East, it’s very tough to pass something like this,” Alsabhan said.

“We sent it to the distributor, and the distributor sent it to Disney, and Disney has told us they are not willing” to make the requested changes, Alsabhan added.

But he disputed reports the movie had been banned outright.

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“It’s never banned. It will never be banned. There’s no reason to ban the film. It’s a simple edit… So far they have refused. But we haven’t closed the door. We’re still trying,” he said.

Asked Monday about the film, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch, an employee for AMC Cinemas in Saudi Arabia said it had been “withdrawn”.

Saudi Arabia lifted a decades-long ban on all cinemas in late 2017, part of a series of social reforms spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that are shaking up the deeply conservative kingdom.

The country has since seen significant growth in movie ticket sales, with revenues totaling $238 million in 2021, a 95-percent increase from the previous year, Variety magazine reported in January.

Homosexuality is a potential capital offense in Saudi Arabia, known for its strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law which forms the basis of its entire judicial system.

The dust-up over “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” is not the first time a Marvel movie has run into trouble with Saudi regulators.

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The Hollywood Reporter reported last November that “Eternals”, which features a gay couple, similarly prompted edit requests from Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia that Disney refused to make. The film ultimately did not screen in Saudi Arabia.

Disney’s stance on LGBTQ rights has attracted controversy in the US, wherein the governor of the state of Florida on Friday signed a law that eliminates a statute that has for many years allowed Disney to behave as a neighborhood authority in Orlando, domestic of the “Disney World” subject matter park.

The pass became the contemporary episode in a dispute with Florida officials after the business enterprise criticized the passage in March of a regulation banning school training on sexual orientation.

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