Eternals was pulled from release across several Gulf nations over Marvel’s first openly gay superhero.
According to The Hollywood Reporter,
Marvel’s all-star superhero title was banned in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait, where it was due for release on Nov. 11, after local censors made several edit requests that Disney was not prepared to make. Sources suggested the decision was made over the inclusion of the MCU’s first same-sex couple — Phastos (played by Brian Tyree Henry) and his on-screen husband Ben (Haaz Sleiman) — and a scene in which they share a kiss.
Angelina Jolie told news.com.au,
“I’m sad for [those audiences]. And I’m proud of Marvel for refusing to cut those scenes out.
“I still don’t understand how we live in a world today where there’s still [people who] would not see the family Phastos has and the beauty of that relationship and that love.
How anybody is angry about it, threatened by it, doesn’t approve or appreciate it is ignorant.”
At the Hollywood premiere for the Eternals, Kit Harington told Variety,
“It’s where it needs to be right now…
It’s a fifty-fifty split of women to men in the main cast. It’s an incredibly diverse cast. It’s got the first gay superhero in it. It’s taken a while, and surprisingly so, actually. This movie is addressing that, very much so.
And I’m proud to be in that movie.”
Eternals expected blowback in the Gulf where homosexuality is still officially illegal and films containing anything related to LGBTQ issues are pulled from release. Last year, Pixar‘s Onward was banned in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia over a solitary line referencing a lesbian relationship.
But the decision hasn’t affected the release date in the United Arab Emirates. Eternals is still due out on Nov. 11 there and today it premieres in the US.
(Photo, Marvel; via THR)