Disney Refuses to Remove LGBTQ Scene From Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Posted 2022/04/26 17 0


Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is the most anticipated project of the franchise. The ticket sales are breaking records and the fans are all hyped up to witness Marvel’s foray into the multiverse. However, a few regions are keeping the film off the theaters. The film has been banned in the markets of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar. And that is because the film’s content represents discussions surrounding an LGBTQ character.

America Chavez, a character portrayed in the film by Xochitl Gomez, is openly gay in the comics. Owing to Marvel’s acknowledgment of inclusivity and diversity, the character would be represented as the same in the film. And that accounts for discussion and probably sequences that will show the character as gay in the movie. Since the aforementioned nations have media laws against airing such content, the film is facing a ban in those markets.

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However, the studio has decided to stand firm and adhere to its values. According to The Guardian, the studio, which is the parent organization of Marvel Studios, has decided to keep those sequences in the film and not cit it specifically to make the films fit for these markets. That way, Disney and Marvel are holding up to their efforts to ensure that inclusive representation in their films grows better and more outspoken.

Saudi Arabia Reportedly Requesting a 12-Second Cut

The reports also suggest that representatives from Saudi Arabia have asked the studio to cut the 12 seconds that feature a discussion referencing America Chavez’s two mothers, a gay couple. According to The Guardian, Saudi Arabia’s General supervisor for Cinema Classification, Nawaf Alsabhan has iterated that they ask the studio to cut “barely 12 seconds” of footage.

It’s just her talking about her moms because she has two moms. In the Middle East, [it is] very tough to pass something like this. [But they] told us they are not willing [to cut it].

This isn’t the first time that Marvel has faced issues in specific markets over the inclusivity of openly gay characters. Earlier, Eternals was banned in some countries for the depiction of Phastos as a gay Eternal and a kiss scene he shares with his husband. However, even then, Marvel and Disney had kept the sequences featuring Phastos and his husband intact.

In the past few years, Marvel has grown diverse and inclusive in the representation of characters. It started with Black Panther, which was praised for the respect it showed for African heritage. Eternals further broadened that approach with the inclusion of Lauren Riddloff as the first deaf superhero, as well as Brian Tyree Henry’s openly gay superhero. Before that, Joe Russo had played an openly gay character in Avengers: Endgame. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings focused on Asian representation. Even in Loki, the creators established him to be gender-fluid in retrospect, honoring his comic book roots. And now, in Thor: Love and Thunder, Valkyrie’s (Tessa Thompson) bisexuality will be openly addressed.

Given Marvel and Disney’s collaborative efforts to strengthen their reputation as an inclusive creative studio, it doesn’t look like Marvel would bow down to Saudi’s demands, and even fans would expect it to uphold its values as promised to the audiences.

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