Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Banned in Several Countries

A new Marvel hero introduced in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness may limit the film’s global audience.

America Chavez is a queer hero who is new to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as of this film. She has a major role to play in helping Strange deal with the titular mad multiverse. Because of this, countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt have canceled the release, with others in that region possibly to follow.

Director Sam Rami has spoken about the character’s key role in the film, which would make it impossible to excise for release in countries where LGBTQ representation is banned. “Strange is still learning about the Multiverse, and here’s a character that can actually travel through it. He’s such a know-it-all all the time, and to have to learn from a kid probably smarts.”

Several other recent films have seen similar bans in the Gulf region, where homosexuality is officially illegal. Eternals was pulled from release in November thanks to a depiction of a same-sex couple that also featured the MCU’s first gay superhero. Outside of Marvel, West Side Story failed to hit Gulf cinemas due to Anybodys, a transgender character played by nonbinary actress Iris Menas.

Companies have censored their own work in the past to please these countries, cutting out kisses and other minor scenes in big films like Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker and Avengers: Endgame. However, with more and more blockbusters depicting the wide range of sexuality as it is in the real world, these bannings may become an inevitable trend.

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