Some nations aren’t as tolerant of homosexuality as the United States, where a number of states, like Florida, have introduced anti- LGTBQIA+ legislation. For its China release, the third Fantastic Beasts movie had all of its gay dialogue, some of it pertaining to Jude Law’s now out-and-proud Dumbledore, removed. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is out-and-out banning a film, reportedly because it, too, has a gay character.
That film is Doctor Strange in the Multitude of Madness. The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that the second solo go with Benedict Cumberbatch’s medical practitioner-turned-sorcerer has vanished from the release schedules in the Middle Eastern nation, as well as Kuwait and Qatar. (It will still drop in the United Arab Emirates.)
Though there is no official explanation for the ban, it’s said to be due to the character America Chavez (played by Xochitl Gomez), who was introduced in 2011 as Marvel’s first Latinx LGBTQIA+ character.
Last year, Eternals ran into similar trouble, being banned across most of the Gulf because it featured both the first openly gay superhero (Brian Tyree Henry’s Phastos) and the first same-gender couple. While Warner Bros. capitulated to other nation’s homophobic demands, Disney — which is currently embroiled in a fight with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, whose moves may impact the state’s taxpayers — clearly won’t do the same.