Black Panther: Wakanda Forever: Brief Gay Scene Cut for Kuwait Release 

The movie, which features a very short moment of affection between Michaela Coel’s and Florence Kasumba’s characters, is now unedited in the rest of the Gulf, including Saudi Arabia.

The LGBTQ+ representation in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is not extensive, a brief moment of affection between Michaela Coel’s character Aneka and Florence Kasumba’s Ayo. But it’s enough to have been cut for the film’s release in one Gulf country.

While only a very small number of edits have been made to Marvel’s all-star sequel for it to be released in Kuwait, amounting to just over 1 minute of cuts in total, this has included the 10-second scene in which Aneka kisses Ayo on the forehead. Also removed, at the request of censors, was a scene in which a woman gives birth to a child and the line, “A god to his people.”

Angela Bassett as Ramonda in Marvel Studios' Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Kuwait is the only territory to have insisted on cuts in a region that has recently come down hard on any reference to LGBTQ+ characters or issues for films hoping for a theatrical release, even if just part of the dialogue.
Wakanda Forever will be screening unedited in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar.

Gay Directors, Gay Films? By Emanuel Levy (Columbia University Press, August 2015).

Last year, major titles including Pixar’s Lightyear; Marvel’s Thor: Love and ThunderDoctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Eternals; and Disney’s West Side Story were all stopped by censors from hitting cinemas over same-gender kisses and gay or transgender characters. None of these films made it to theaters in Saudi Arabia, the region’s biggest market (Kuwait is No. 3, after the U.A.E.).

The decision to remove the scene involving Aneka and Ayo may not come as a surprise to cinemagoers in Kuwait, considered the strictest in the region in terms of censorship and where studios often agree to intimacy edits, even over same-gender relationships. In the first Black Panther, a kiss between T’Challa and Nakia was removed, while a heterosexual kiss was also removed from Encanto.