Actress Angelina Jolie says she’s “sad” for the audiences who won’t get to see her new Marvel film “Eternals” after the movie was banned in several countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar, over a same-sex relationship.
“How anybody is angry about it, threatened by it, doesn’t approve or appreciate it is ignorant,” Jolie told Australian news outlet news.com.au during a round table interview.
Jolie, who plays Thena in the film about a race of immortal superheroes, went on to say she’s “sad” for the audiences who won’t get to watch “Eternals.”
“And I’m proud of Marvel for refusing to cut those scenes out,” she said. “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.”
In the film, Phastos, who is played by Bryan Tyree Henry, is married to husband Ben, played by actor Haaz Sleiman, who was born in Dubai. The pair share Marvel’s first on-screen same-sex kiss.
In an interview with Variety, Sleiman called the film “life-saving” and said he wished he had seen a film like “Eternals” as a child.
“I wish I had that when I was a kid to see this. My god. I wish! Can you imagine how many lives this is going to be saving — kids, young queer folk, who are being bullied, committing suicide, and not seeing themselves being represented? And now they get to see this — it’s above and beyond,” Sleiman said.
Although “Eternals” is banned from several Gulf nations, it will still be available in the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt, according to Deadline. However, the version of the film screened in those countries will remove scenes featuring any intimacy between characters — both heterosexual and homosexual relationships, Deadline reported.
This isn’t the first time a Disney-owned property was banned in some Gulf nations.
Pixar’s “Onward,” which features an LGBTQ character voiced by Lena Waithe, was also banned from several countries last year.