Angelina Jolie After Saudi Arabia, Qatar Ban ‘Eternals’: Anger over Gay Roles Is ‘Ignorant’

Marvel/Disney
Marvel/Disney

Actress Angelina Jolie says she is “proud” that Marvel refused to cut Eternals scenes featuring an openly gay superhero for Middle Eastern countries that censor LGBTQ content, and said that anyone who doesn’t “appreciate” gay content in movies is “ignorant.”

“I’m sad for [those audiences]. And I’m proud of Marvel for refusing to cut those scenes out,” the actress told Australian website news.com.au. “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.”

The film, which features a same-sex relationship and a gay kiss, has reportedly been pulled from release in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait as a result of Marvel refusing to delete the gay scenes.

In Eternals, Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) is showcased as Marvel’s first gay character with a major role. He’s shown in a same-sex marriage with a character played by actor Haaz Sleiman. There is a scene in which the two share a kiss, and the couple also has a son together.

Brian Tyree Henry attends Go Behind The Scenes with Walt Disney Studios during D23 Expo 2019 at Anaheim Convention Center on August 24, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Haaz Sleiman arrives at the Premiere of Marvel Studios’ Eternals on October 18, 2021 in Hollywood, California. (Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)

“How anybody is angry about it, threatened by it, doesn’t approve or appreciate it is ignorant,” Jolie lamented.

Homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait.

“It’s not unusual for Hollywood studios to make cuts to movies for release in countries with different censorship rules,” reports news.com.au. “Bohemian Rhapsody famously removed references to Freddie Mercury’s sexuality to appease censors in China.”

Marvel, however, does not appear to be budging. Moreover, this hasn’t been the first time a film was banned in Middle Eastern countries over its LGBTQ content.

Last year, the Pixar film Onward was banned in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia over one line referencing a lesbian relationship, notes the Hollywood Reporter.

The release of Eternals, however, has reportedly not been impacted in the United Arab Emirates, where it is still expected to hit cinemas next week.

Eternals has opened wide in the U.S. and hauled in $9.5 million at the domestic box office on Thursday.

 

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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