‘Eternals’ Pulled From Release In Several Countries Over LGBTQ Content
Marvel’s is about to open Eternals all over the globe. According to some estimates, the film is expected to gross $75 million in the U.S. alone this weekend. But at least some of its financial projections should probably be adjusted slightly downward after reports that the movie has quietly been pulled from release in several countries.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Eternals is no longer opening as planned in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar. The source of the issue, they claim, is a bunch of “edit requests by the local censors” which Disney and Marvel decided not to make. Although they didn’t get official confirmation from Disney, their belief is that the issue stems from Eternals including the first openly gay superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That’s Phastos, played by Brian Tyree Henry...
Sources suggest the decision was likely made over the inclusion of a same-sex couple in the film and the MCU’s first gay superhero. In one scene, the character, Phastos (played by Brian Tyree Henry), and his on-screen husband, Ben (Haaz Sleiman), share a passionate kiss. Homosexuality is still officially illegal across the Gulf, and films containing anything related to LGBTQ issues are frequently pulled from release.
If those are the rules in these countries, then that would make sense for the sudden ban. (It’s hard to imagine what else in the picture might cause an issue with censors, it’s otherwise very much standard Marvel fare, at least in terms of the level of violence and action.) Whatever the reason for the change, Eternals is still opening this weekend in the United States and many other places around the globe.