With the inclusion of America Chavez, there was some expectation that her LGBTQ background could lead to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness may end up getting banned in various countries. The first announcement came from Saudi Arabia and was then followed by Egypt making an announcement. Now, a new article from The Guardian shared a statement from Saudi Arabia on the situation in which they deny any reports that the film has been banned in the country.
Disney seemingly denies any comment on the matter, but it seems that the cut scene they are inquiring about involves America Chavez mentioning her mothers. Nawaf Alsabhan, Saudi Arabia’s general supervisor of cinema classification, shared a statement on the matter. It was highlighted that what they are trying to cut is “barely 12 seconds” which is part of the film’s release.
It’s just her talking about her moms, because she has two moms. And being in the Middle East, it’s very tough to pass something like this. We sent it to the distributor, and the distributor sent it to Disney, and Disney has told us they are not willing. It will never be banned. There’s no reason to ban the film. It’s a simple edit … So far they have refused. But we haven’t closed the door. We’re still trying.Nawaf Alsabhan
It seems the current statement is more that the film has been “withdrawn” rather than banned. There was a similar situation with this kind of inquiry regarding the Eternals, which heavily involved a gay couple as part of the film’s main cast. While there are strong cultural differences, describing the inclusion of LGBTQ representation as “a simple edit” is a curious showcase of how different the topic is handled across the world. For now, it seems unlikely that Disney or Marvel Studios will budge on the matter.
Source: The Guardian