The Hollywood Reporter has just announced that Saudi Arabia has officially banned Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness from showing in their nation. The reason? 2 words: America Chavez (played by Xochitl Gomez). Canonically, America Chavez is lesbian. This latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe confirms that she will also be LGBTQ, as per canon.
Saudi Arabia And Banning LGBTQ+ Representation
It’s been Saudi Arabian policy (as well as policy for much of the Gulf states) for a while to ban all films that have even the slightest hint of LGBTQ themes in it. Previously, Saudi Arabia has banned The Eternals for having an openly gay superhero as part of the main cast (specifically: Phastos as played by Brian Tyree Henry), and has banned West Side Story (2021) for having a transgender character among the main cast. With that kind of censoring history, then it’s no wonder that Saudi Arabia banned Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Thus, the film will most definitely not see it’s planned May 5, 2022 release date in the Gulf states. Curiously though, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) still has tickets available for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on that date. This suggests that the film will not receive a ban there. However, it will likely see some scenes cut, considering that the same thing happened to The Eternals when the UAE screened it.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: Details
Fortunately, this drama with Saudia Arabia will have no effect on the release of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in the rest of the world. Definitely not in the US, which will still see the film launch in theaters on May 6, 2022. If you want to watch the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first horror film (as well as see America Chavez in action), then head to theaters on that date. You can order tickets from Fandango right now, if you want.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter