Marvel’s Eternals film has been banned in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar ‘because of its gay couple’

  • Marvel’s Eternals was to be released in cinemas across the Middle East starting November 11. 
  • But it will not be released in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or Qatar, according to reports 
  • Censors allegedly demanded the movie’s gay couple – super-hero Phastos and husband Ben, played by Bryan Tyree Henry and Haaz Sleiman – be removed
  • Disney was not willing to sign the agreement so the movie was silently binned.

Marvel’s news film Eternals won’t be shown in Saudi Arabia or Qatar. This is due to suspicion that it was pulled for its gay couple.

The movie, due to be released in the region in November 11, was quietly removed from websites advertising upcoming movies in those countries.

No official reason has been given, but homosexuality is still illegal across much of the Middle East and films are frequently banned there for referencing LGBT issues.

Eternals features Marvel’s first on-screen gay couple – superhero Phastos, played by Bryan Tyree Henry, who shares a home with non-hero Ben, played by Haaz Sleiman.

Eternals features Marvel's first on-screen gay couple - superhero Phastos, played by Bryan Tyree Henry (second right), and husband Ben, played by Haaz Sleiman (third right)

Eternals features Marvel’s first on-screen gay couple – superhero Phastos, played by Bryan Tyree Henry (second right), and husband Ben, played by Haaz Sleiman (third right)

The film features a passionate kiss between the couple at one point. This will be Marvel’s first movie to feature a same-sex kiss.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, censors in several Middle Eastern countries requested edits to remove the gay couple before the release.

According to the site, Disney, which owns Marvel, refused to release the movie and pulled it.

One Middle Eastern cinema chain confirmed that Eternals had been “banned”, but did not give any explanation.

Last year, the Pixar film Onward was pulled from cinemas in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia over a single line that referenced a lesbian relationship.

Eternals is not the only one to be targeted for its gay characters.

The movie was’review bombed’ earlier this week – where people who have not seen it target it with malicious reviews. This is believed to have been triggered due to its portrayal of homosexuality.

Eternals has also been 'reviewed bombed' over its depiction of homosexuality, and has received an 18 rating in Singapore

Eternals has also been’reviewed-bombed’ for its depiction homosexuality. It has been given an 18 rating by Singapore.

The Last of Us Part II was the latest installment of a popular Playstation series that was released last January. It was similarly targeted, at least in part, due to its prominent inclusion of LGBT characters.

Eternals, which depicted homosexuality in a film, was also given an 18 rating by Singapore. This was the first Marvel movie to not receive a PG13 rating.

Eternals is Marvel’s 28th film. It’s based on a fictional race humanoid aliens with the same name that first appeared in an American comic series.

The film shows the Eternals, immortal beings, coming out of hiding to defend Earth from their evil counterparts, Deviants.

The movie, which premiered in Los Angeles earlier this month, stars Angelina Jolie as Thena, leader of the Eternals, alongside Gemma Chan as Sersi, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo and Lauren Ridloff as Makkari.

The film was directed and co-written by Academy Award-winning director Chloé Zhao, who won the Oscar for Best Director and Best Picture last year for Nomadland.