A Saudi Arabian official has disputed claims that the country has banned Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
According to a report by The Guardian, a Saudi official said on Monday that the censorship board have asked Disney to remove the “LGBTQ references” from the film, but have not banned it outright as was previously claimed.
Disney has held strong so far, refusing to make the requested changes to the film. The requested edit would remove a scene where MCU newcomer America Chavez refers to her “two moms”. In total, this scene lasts for around 12 seconds.
Nawaf Alsabhan, Saudi Arabia’s general supervisor of cinema classification, claimed that the scene is “very tough to pass” in the Middle East. He continued explaining that the film won’t be outlawed, and they are still attempting to get Disney to make the changes.
Advanced ticket sales have been withdrawn from theaters in Kuwait and Qatar, however, they remain on sale in the United Arab Emirates.
This isn’t the first Marvel film to have edits requested in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. Last year’s Eternals included a gay couple, but when Marvel and the Mouse House refused to back down, the intergalactic epic was banned instead.
It’s unclear what the outcome of these requests will be, but it’s beginning to appear unlikely that changes will be made. Things better move fast, though, because we’re quickly approaching the launch of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which is scheduled to arrive on May 6.