Greta Gerwig’s Barbie gets postponed in the Middle East due to what representatives consider inappropriate LGBT material.
While Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie continues to dominate the box office, swiftly becoming one of the most successful films of the year, censorship is taking its toll on the film’s release in certain parts of the world. According to reports, Vox Cinemas – Warner Bros.’ local distribution partner – is pushing the release of Barbie to August 31 in the Middle East after setting a July 19 debut.
Sources with knowledge about the situation say Barbie is running into censorship issues in the Middle East related to alleged LGBT-related narration and dialogue. Meanwhile, cutting the requested material is unlikely. Suppose Warner Bros. refuses to alter the film. In that case, there’s a chance Barbie will not be released in a portion of the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, the territory’s leading film market. Other areas that could be affected by the postponement or cancelation of the film’s release include the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Egypt.
On Sunday evening, Saudi film and entertainment platform Movsto tweeted that Barbie will not be screened in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain. WB and Vox have yet to comment on the state of Barbie‘s release in the territories mentioned above.
Greta Gerwig’s Barbie features proud members of the LGBT community, including Kate McKinnon, Hari Nef, Alexandra Shipp, and Scott Evans. While the film scarcely deals with LGBT themes directly, the story encourages viewers to be comfortable in their own skin and be proud of who they are, inside and out.
This instance is not the first time representatives of the Middle East have banned a Barbie film. A decade ago, multiple animated Barbie movies were banned in Saudi Arabia because of depictions of risqué clothing and the portrayal of women in non-traditional gender roles.
Meanwhile, Greta Gerwig’s Barbie is sitting pretty in its pink convertible with a worldwide total of $780.7M+ after two weeks of release. Momentum for the film shows no signs of slowing throughout the week, with sold-out shows being the norm in some parts of the U.S. and Canada.
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