Saudi Arabia has asked Disney to cut “LGBTQ references” from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness before it can be screened in the kingdom, an official said on Monday – but denied earlier reports that the film has been banned.
Disney has so far declined the requested edits to the Doctor Strange sequel, slated for release around the world next week.
He added: “We sent it to the distributor, and the distributor sent it to Disney, and Disney has told us they are not willing.”.
Advance tickets had been removed from sale in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar, but not in the United Arab Emirates.
Asked on Monday about the film, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch, an employee for AMC Cinemas in Saudi Arabia said it had been “withdrawn”.
In November The Eternals, which features a gay couple, prompted edit requests from Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia.
Homosexuality is a capital offence in Saudi Arabia, known for its strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law, which forms the basis of its judicial system. »