Warner Bros. upcoming Wonder Woman film has been banned in Lebanon following a boycott over the casting of Gal Gadot, who is Israeli and served in the Israel Defense Forces.
Deadline Hollywood reported that the ban was announced by Lebanon exhibitor Grand Cinemas, which tweeted Wednesday that the film would not be shown in the country.
— Grand Cinemas Lebanon (@GCLebanon) May 31, 2017
The boycott of the film was lead by Lebanese group Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel-Lebanon due to the casting of Israeli actress and former IDF soldier Gal Gadot in the film’s lead role. Deadline reports that the film was only set to play in 15 locations in Lebanon initially, but will no longer be shown in any theaters.
The ban came as something of a surprise as the Middle Eastern country had no issues with some of Gadot’s previous films, including Furious 7, which earned $1.8M in the territory, and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice which earned $843,000. The two other Fast and Furious films in which Gadot appeared were also screened in the country, with Fast and Furious 6 taking $788K and Fast Five grossing $520K.
The ban was reportedly instated by Lebanon’s Ministry of Economy, which requires a six-member vote.
Lebanon has been at war with Israel and has an official boycott policy on all Israeli products. The group leading the boycott against Wonder Woman specifically cited Gadot’s previous service in the IDF and her support for Israel’s military policy as grounds for the boycott of the film.
Warner Bros. has yet to issue a statement on the ban.