Angelina Jolie Says She’s ‘Proud’ That Marvel Refused To Cut ‘Eternals’ Scenes Featuring A Gay Hero For Gulf Nations

Angelina Jolie is speaking out against countries banning her Marvel Cinematic Universe tentpole “Eternals” because it includes the franchise’s first openly gay superhero (and a gay kiss to go along with it).

via: Uproxx

Eternals marks a lot of first for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s the first film to feature an on-screen sex scene, the first to cast a disabled woman in a lead role, the first to be directed by a woman of color, Chloe Zhao and is the first to prominently feature a same-sex couple. However, while this all seems pretty undeniably incredible and proves just how much of a milestone this film is, not everyone is quite as pleased with the studio.

Despite being due to release in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait on November 11, the film has ultimately been banned from theaters following Disney refusing to make edits requested by the nation’s local censors. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the primary focus of the edits was eliminating the overt inclusion of the MCU’s first same-sex couple — Phastos (played by Brian Tyree Henry) and his onscreen husband Ben (Haaz Sleiman) — and a scene in which the pair share a kiss. While Marvel’s parent company, Disney, has come under fire in the past for both censorship on their Disney+ streaming service as well as altering promotional material for other countries, refusing to make these edits is a big step in the right director for the brand — and Eternals star Angelina Jolie is proud.

“I’m sad for [those audiences]. And I’m proud of Marvel for refusing to cut those scenes out,” said Jolie. “I still don’t understand how we live in a world today where there’s still [people who] would not see the family Phastos has and the beauty of that relationship and that love. How anybody is angry about it, threatened by it, doesn’t approve or appreciate it is ignorant.”

While Disney simply doing the right thing might not seem like a drastic course of action, it is worth noting that the studio “expected to face a kickback by censors in the Gulf, where homosexuality is still officially illegal and films containing anything related to LGBTQ issues are frequently pulled from release” and still elected to ignore the requests and lose out on profits from those countries. The company faced a similar situation last year, when the Pixar title Onward was banned in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia over a single-line referencing a lesbian relationship.

Regardless, the film is still scheduled for release in the United Arab Emirates on November 11.

“Eternals” is now playing in theaters nationwide.

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