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Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness Banned In Saudi Arabia Due To A Gay Character

The problem lies with the “Doctor Strange 2” character America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), who happens to be a lesbian in the film and the Marvel comics.

Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness Banned In Saudi Arabia Due To A Gay Character

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  23 April 2022 11:29 AM GMT

Riyadh: It seems like "Doctor Strange 2" will not be able to expand its footprints in the middle east. This is because Sam Raimi's sequel "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" will not be allowed to release in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, or Qatar due to a new character being gay.

Notably, homosexuality stands illegal across the Persian gulf, and films that feature LGBTQ+ themes or characters are often censored.

The problem lies with the "Doctor Strange 2" character America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), who happens to be a lesbian in the film and the Marvel comics.

"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" was set to hit the theatres on May 6 across the Arabian peninsula. Advanced tickets are no longer available for theaters in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar but the United Arab Emirates is still showing advanced ticket sales.

Earlier, fellow Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) installment "Eternals" got banned across the Gulf nations in November 2021 after the film displayed Marvel's first gay superhero and also showcased a same-sex couple.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, national censors asked Disney to make specific edits in order for the film to premiere, but Disney did not agree to their demand. However, a different, edited version did screen in the United Arab Emirates.

Disney's "West Side Story" also could not release in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait in January due to the character Anybodys, written as transgender in the film and played by nonbinary actor Iris Menas.

Meanwhile, "Doctor Strange 2" features Benedict Cumberbatch as the surgeon-turned-wizard, and the lead actor told Empire magazine that the sequel includes a "lot of reckoning and a lot of self-discovery" for the characters.

"Strange is almost a stranger to himself before this film unfolds and reveals what, essentially, is in his nature, that he then has to either confront or resist or fall into or become," Cumberbatch said.

"There are some very bold ideas and some extraordinary tests of Strange and encounters. There are some very unexpected conclusions," he added.

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