The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Marvel’s new action/superhero movies “Externals” WILL NOT be released in the countries of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar after they complained and demanded that a same-sex kiss scene be removed. In turn Disney/Marvel pulled the release of the movie from these mostly Muslim middle east countries.
Speaking to news.com.au, Angelina Jolie, as longtime LGBT ally who plays Thena in Eternals, said:
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. How anybody is angry about it, threatened by it, doesn’t approve or appreciate it is ignorant.”
Eternals director Chloe Zhao had discussions with Marvel to not make any cuts to the movie in countries that might feign “offense”. Speaking to IndieWire, Zhao said: “I don’t know all the details, but I do believe discussions were had and there’s a big desire for Marvel and myself – we talked about this – to not change the cut of the movie.
The film was given an M18 rating in Singapore, restricting it to audiences of 18-year-old and above. Though the “Deadpool” films also received M18 certificates, “Eternals” is the first title from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to be classified at this level, after previous instalments were rated PG or PG13.+
Homosexuality is illegal across much of the region and is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.