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‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ Reportedly Banned in Saudi Arabia Due to America Chavez

America Chavez points at a monster in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.

Disney has gotten yet another filmed banned overseas, and this time it’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that the sequel film, which will bring the multiverse once more onto the Marvel big screen, has been banned in Saudi Arabia. They also speculate that the ban extends to Kuwait.

“While the film is yet to be released and also hasn’t yet been reviewed, the decision is once again said to be related to LGBTQ issues, according to Middle East sources,” THR writes. “With the new sequel introducing the character America Chavez (played by Xochitl Gomez) who, as per her portrayal in the comics, is gay. With homosexuality officially illegal across the Gulf, films that feature any LGBTQ references or issues often fail to get past censors.”

As no reviews have come out, we have no idea if there is any LGBTQ content in the film, or any indicator of how much of Chavez’s sexuality will be present in her characterization. Still, if there is none (or, as I imagine, just lip service), then hopefully this can get Marvel to stop making queer content easily replaceable just to appease international forces.

Marvel comics are filled with dynamic LGBTQ characters, who have already made their introduction into the MCU (hello, Loki), but we have been slowly struggling to see that acknowledged. Yes, Eternals was a step in the right direction (and led to similar bans), but we also need it to be the case with popular leading characters whose role takes up more than twenty-or-so minutes.

If existing is enough to get banned, then it is time for Disney to decide if they are going to stand by their LGBTQ fanbase and provide meaningful representation or continue to pretend they can play it both ways. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness premieres May 6, and I am rooting for Wanda.

(via Polygon, featured image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.