• Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

Eternals BANNED: Marvel movie pulled from release in Middle Eastern countries – Here’s why

Nov 5, 2021

Marvel Studios’ Eternals trailer

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Today marks the release of the new Marvel movie Eternals, starring Angelina Jolie and Richard Madden. The new film follows a group of immortal beings who live on and protect Earth over the centuries. The 26th MCU movie is also a game-changer for the film series, featuring the franchise’s first gay couple and gay kiss.

Marvel’s first gay superhero is Eternals member Phastos, played by Brian Tyree Henry.

And in the film, he has a human husband called Ben (Haaz Sleiman) and the couple have an adopted son together.

While during one scene in the new Marvel movie Phastos and Ben share a passionate kiss.

Now, some religiously conservative countries have, in the past, censored gay scenes from major Hollywood movies since homosexuality remains illegal across the Gulf states.

One recent example saw Disney Pixar movie Onward banned across Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar for one line referencing a lesbian relationship.

And now The Hollywood Reporter’s sources claim that some Middle Eastern countries have quietly pulled the film from release over the inclusion of a gay couple and gay kiss.

The outlet reports that some nations in the the Gulf region made a series of edit requests, which Disney was not willing to make.

Since then, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar have quietly banned Eternals by pulling the film’s release.

Onward: Tom Holland and Chris Pratt star in trailer

However, this is only the case in some Middle Eastern countries, with the Marvel movie still being listed among upcoming titles in the United Arab Emirates. While the blockbuster passed uncut in Singapore with a strict M18 rating.

Eternals star Angelina Jolie reacted to the news of Eternals being pulled in the Middle East, calling the decision “ignorant”.

The Thena star 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.”

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Jolie added: “How anybody is angry about it, threatened by it, doesn’t approve or appreciate it is ignorant.”

The MCU has featured a couple of other LGBTQ+ character acknowledgements but never as explicitly as those in Eternals.

Director Joe Russo played an unnamed character in the opening of Avengers Endgame who referenced going on a date with a man. While Tom Hiddleston’s Loki shared his bisexuality in his Disney+ show earlier this year.

Eternals is out now in UK cinemas.

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