In Summary

  • The Barbie film hit the billion-dollar mark just 17 days after it was released
  • Barbie’s success at the box office is attributed to its pre-release hype and marketing

Kuwait said on Wednesday they have banned hit movie “Barbie”, while less conservative Lebanon is poised to ban the Warner Brothers movie.

Kuwait has banned Barbie citing promotion of homosexuality.

Lebanon’s culture minister Mohammad Mortada said on Wednesday that the Warner Bros. film was found to “promote homosexuality and sexual transformation” and “contradicts values of faith and morality” by diminishing the importance of the family unit.

“Based on Mortada’s move, Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi in turn asked General Security’s censorship committee, which falls under the interior ministry and is traditionally responsible for censorship decisions, to review the film and give its recommendation,” said the Reuters news agency.

Barbie delayed in Middle East amid reports of LGBTQ

The film was originally scheduled to debut in the Middle East on July 19, two days before landing in the rest of the world’s multiplexes. It now looks to go ahead in some Middle East markets, including the biggest Saudi Arabia, at the end of August.

READ ALSO Address the real threats to Kenyan families, stop scapegoating LGBTQ community

The release date was initially moved to Aug. 10 and has now been pushed back to Aug. 31, after local censors suggested edits allegedly pertaining to LGBTQ-related narration and dialogue in “Barbie.”
“Barbie,” starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, has already generated $1.03 billion at the global box office, including $468 million in North America.

Lebanon has a long history of religious and sexual tolerance in a region known to be conservative. And it was the first Arab country to hold a gay pride week, in 2017. But with the country enduring a period of economic and political chaos that position may now be changing.

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