After Eternals, another Hollywood film has been banned from several Middle East countries including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the UAE. According to Deadline, West Side Story will not be released in these countries due to censorship rules about a transgender character called Anybodys.
Deadline revealed that an official statement about the ban has not been released, but reportedly the film has not received distribution rights due to the character Anybodys played by Iris Menas, a nonbinary performer. While Saudi Arabia and Kuwait did not approve distribution certificates, the censors in the other regions requested cuts but Disney opted to not make the edits.
This isn't the first time that a movie has been banned from Middle East countries. Earlier this year, Marvels' Eternals was also banned in the Middle East region over censorship issues. UAE eventually released Eternals after removing every intimate scene from the movie.
West Side Story, set to release this week is Steven Spielberg's version of the 1957 Broadway musical of the same name. The film has already created quite the buzz across the globe and has also received a nod for Best Cinematography from the New York Film Critics Circle.
West Side Story is releasing on December 10, 2021. The film stars Ansel Elgort as Tony, Rachel Zegler as Maria, Ariana DeBose as Anita, Rita Moreno as Valentina and Mike Faist as Riff.