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Disney Refuses Saudi Arabia's Request to Edit 'Doctor Strange 2' Lesbian Dialogue from Movie

Late last week, reports surfaced of Marvel's new movie “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” being banned in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. The reported banning is due to a new gay hero being introduced in the movie, America Chavez, played by Xochitl Gomez. The character is true to how she is portrayed in the Marvel comics.

Saudi Arabia's cinema classification board is now disputing the reports of the movie being banned, clarifying that they would like Disney to edit 12-seconds from the movie that features dialogue from Gomez's character that refers to her "two moms".

According to Variety, Nawaf Alsabhan, Saudi Arabia’s general supervisor of cinema classification, told AFP (via The Guardian) that Disney is unwilling to remove “barely 12 seconds”.

“It’s just her talking about her moms, because she has two moms,” Alsabhan said. “And being in the Middle East, it’s very tough to pass something like this. We sent it to the distributor, and the distributor sent it to Disney, and Disney has told us they are not willing.”

Alsabhan told AFP that “Doctor Strange 2” will “never be banned,” adding, “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.”

The “Doctor Strange” sequel was initially slated for release in the Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries on May 5. But in the region, movies concerning or containing sex, homosexuality and religious issues are routinely cut to comply with censorship rules, according to Variety.

This isn't the first movie undergoing censorship setbacks. Marvel's "Eternals' kept audiences in Saudi Arabia from watching after Disney refused to make edits that included a same-sex kiss. "West Side Story' was also affected because it features a transgender character.

Yikes! Looks like we still have a long way to go when it comes to global acceptance and representation. Luckily, movie makers are doing their best to help stimulate change on our screens, but will it hurt their pockets?

“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” will be released in theatres May 6.

Watch the Official Trailer Below:


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