Saudi Arabia Bans Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” Sequel Due To Anti-LGBTQ Laws

Last Friday, the Hollywood Reporter affirmed that the new Doctor Strange movie is not going to be released in Saudi Arabia due to the inclusion of LGBTQ scenes. “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” is the newest movie in the Marvel-Disney series that will be released next month.

As a sequel to Doctor Strange in 2016, this new movie was all set to release in the Middle East on May 5th. Alongside Saudi Arabia, tickets are unavailable in Qatar and Kuwait as well. The only exception to the trend is the United Arab Emirates, which is still releasing the movie.

The Reporter also pointed out that the movies containing references regarding LGBTQ often face bans in Saudi Arabia. The new Doctor Strange movie also has an LGBTQ character, America Chaves, who is a lesbian. In Saudi Arabia and many Middle Eastrern countries, homosexual relationships are against the law.

Preceding this decision, Marvel’s “Eternals” was also not released in many of the Gulf States in November 2021. The Reporter and Variety added that this decision was because the movie featured a homosexual couple.

Earlier this year, Warner Brothers confirmed that they had removed a six-second clip from “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” for its release in China. This clip referenced a same-sex relationship between the two main characters of the movie.

On April 12, Warner Brothers told the Reporter that they have been protecting the integrity of every movie they release, and this often means having to cut certain scenes to boost market reception. They assured the public that even though the film had certain scenes cut out for local requirements, the spirit of the film is still intact.

Similarly, Marvel’s parent company Walt Disney has found itself in the middle of US domestic politics. When the company advocated against Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Bill, it was stripped of its autonomous governmental status. Now it must abide by zoning law regulations and pay taxes for operating its amusement parks.

Conclusively, many states seem to have issues dealing with homosexuality and its advocacy in Disney. While the Gulf states stand their ground, everyone eagerly waits for the domestic Disney dispute to unfold.