Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: Banned in Saudi Arabia (LGBTQ)

Multiverse of Madness’ Banned in Saudi Arabia

The decision, which comes after the blocking of both ‘Eternals’ and ‘West Side Story,’ is said to be once again related to the inclusion of an LGBTQ character.

Disney and the MCU has fallen foul of Gulf censors once more.

Marvel’s long-awaited follow-up to the hit 2016 superhero film starring Benedict Cumberbatch, has been banned in Saudi Arabia. Rumors began emerging online early on Friday.

Although the film is yet to be released and also hasn’t yet been reviewed, the decision is once again said to be related to LGBTQ issues, according to Middle East sources, with the new sequel character America Chavez (played by Xochitl Gomez) being gay, as per her portrayal in the comics. With homosexuality officially illegal across the Gulf, films that feature any LGBTQ references or issues often fall foul of the censors.

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

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was due to be released across the Gulf on May 5 as part of its global rollout.

While advanced tickets are no longer available on the websites of cinemas in Saudi, Kuwait and Qatar, they are in the United Arab Emirates, suggesting it will be released there.

The film follows on the heels of Chloe Zhao’s Eternals, which was banned in the Gulf in November following the inclusion of a same-gender couple in the film and the MCU’s first gay superhero.

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

At the time, censors had requested a series of edits to be made that Disney was not willing to make. An edited version did screen in the U.A.E.

In January, West Side Story was also halted in Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait.

This time, regional sources said the decision was due to the character Anybodys, written as transgender in the new adaptation and played by nonbinary actress Iris.