Following news that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness would be banned in Saudi Arabia, details have emerged of a scene Disney refused to edit out, referencing a same-sex relationship.
Saudi Arabia’s laws against homosexuality saw advanced ticket sales for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness suspended in the country amidst reports the film had been banned there and would likely be banned across the Gulf. According to the Guardian, however, Saudi Arabia’s general supervisor of cinema classification, Nawaf Alsabhan, has refuted claims the film has been banned, saying the country had asked for 12 seconds of the film to be cut and were continuing to try to have the edit made. “There’s no reason to ban the film. It’s a simple edit … So far they have refused. But we haven’t closed the door. We’re still trying,” he said.
The scene in question involves America Chavez, played by Xochitl Gomez, who is openly gay in the comics the film is based on. Saudi Arabian censors have asked that a moment in which America is “talking about her moms, because she has two moms,” is cut for release in the country. Disney are standing their ground though, and have so far refused to edit the scene.
While Alsabhan has claimed Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness “will never be banned,” Marvel’s Eternals did not screen in the country following a similar situation. Eternals featured a gay couple, including Phastos, the MCU’s first openly gay superhero. Several countries in the Gulf requested edits, which Disney again refused to make, resulting in the decision not to screen the film.
Here is the synopsis for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness:
The MCU unlocks the Multiverse and pushes its boundaries further than ever before. Journey into the unknown with Doctor Strange, who, with the help of mystical allies both old and new, traverses the mind-bending and dangerous alternate realities of the Multiverse to confront a mysterious new adversary.
Directed by Sam Raimi from a script written by Michael Waldron, the film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, with Michael Stuhlbarg, Rachel McAdams, and Patrick Stewart.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters on May 6, 2022. Meanwhile, the first Season of Loki is now streaming on Disney Plus, with Season 2 currently in development. Stay tuned for all the latest news on the upcoming film and series, and subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.
Source: The Guardian