Story at a glance

  • Angelina Jolie criticized the decision by some countries to ban Marvel’s “Eternals” from theaters for the movie’s same-sex relationship and kiss between two men.
  • The film has been pulled from cinemas in countries including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.
  • Disney has refused to cut out scenes of the relationship between characters Phastos and Ben, both played by male actors — a shift from Hollywood’s past.

Actor Angelina Jolie is pushing back against news that some countries have banned her latest Marvel movie, “Eternals,” over its depiction of a same-sex relationship, calling the decision “ignorant.”

AP


Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal, pulled the film from theaters last week after Marvel refused to remove scenes showing a same-sex relationship and a kiss shared between actors Brian Tyree Henry and Haaz Sleiman, The Hollywood Reporter reported.

“I’m proud of Marvel for refusing to cut those scenes out,” Jolie, who plays the warrior Thena in the film, told the Australian news outlet news.com.au during a press roundtable. “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,” she said.

In the film, Phastos, played by Henry, is married to Ben, played by Sleiman, and share Marvel’s first on-screen same-sex kiss. They also have a son together in the film.


America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.


In an interview with Variety last week, Sleiman, who moved to the U.S. from Lebanon at 21 and came out as gay in 2017, said he was close to tears when he learned Disney, who owns Marvel, had “stood its ground” and declined to cut out the scenes.

“It made these Arab countries look so ignorant and pathetic,” he said. “They have displayed to the world that they are not only a disgrace to humanity, but to God. Hopefully this will inspire the Saudi people, the Kuwaiti people and the people in Qatar to fight back.”

Disney’s decision runs counter to Hollywood’s past of making cuts to its movies for release in countries with different censorship rules. References to Queen frontman Freddie Mercury’s sexuality in the 2018 film “Bohemian Rhapsody” were removed to placate censors in China.

It’s also a big step for Marvel, which has previously been criticized for its slow integration of LGBTQ characters into its films. An unnamed gay character briefly appears in “Avengers: Endgame” and Tom Hiddleston’s “Loki” was retroactively revealed as bisexual in his spinoff Disney+ series of the same name earlier this year.


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA

SESAME STREET’S BIG BIRD SPARKS COVID-19 CONTROVERSY

CANADIAN WOMAN BECOMES FIRST PERSON DIAGNOSED AS SUFFERING FROM ‘CLIMATE CHANGE’

MORE THAN 12 MILLION INVASIVE ASIAN FISH REMOVED FROM TWO US LAKES

MORE THAN 100 FLORIDA BUSINESSES, CITIES AND SCHOOLS DEFYING GOV DESANTIS DESPITE RISKING BIG FINES

CHEFS DECLARE WAR ON A TRENDY FRUIT BECAUSE OF ITS ENORMOUS CARBON FOOTPRINT

Published on Nov 08, 2021