A month before its release in the Middle East, Marvel's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has faced a ban in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Egypt.
The ban announced by the three MENA conservative countries has been attributed to its inclusion of a lesbian character, as both countries still criminalize same-sex relationships.
Sources have revealed that the ban of the sequel of Doctor Strange is based on the character of America Chavez, played by 15-year-old American actress Xochitl Gomez.
Unconfirmed news shared online alleged a request made by Saudi Arabia to Disney, demanding to cut of "controversial" scenes, citing Dinsey's "proud rejection", which led to the full ban.
So Egypt decided to ban @DrStrange in the Multiverse of Madness, they asked @DisneyStudios to cut the unwanted scenes but @Disney proudly refused because they will not bend down to a pitiful government and abandon what they stand for. #DoctorStrangeInTheMultiverseOfMadness #Egypt pic.twitter.com/xrfGCtvKoW— The Yellow Lad (@theyellowlad) April 25, 2022
The film, which is due to screen during the first week of May will therefore not be watched by nearly 140 million people in the three countries.
However, online people who expressed opposition to the ban decision have been warning that cinema bans are no longer effective in "preserving conservative culture and traditions", saying that young generations can still watch the film using online streaming services.
كذا ولا وكذا راح يتابعونه اونلاين— ︎ ︎ ︎ ︎ ︎ ︎ ︎ ︎ ︎ ︎ ︎ ︎ ︎ ︎ ︎ ︎ ︎ ︎ ︎ ︎ ︎ ͏ ͏UwU (@iuwu99) April 23, 2022
Translation: "They will watch it online anyways".
In November 2021, several MENA countries including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, and Egypt had also banned Marvel's Eternals film over LGBTQ+ characters.
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