Angelina Jolie calls Middle Eastern ban of Eternals over gay couple ‘ignorant’

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    Angelina Jolie reacted to the news that her new Marvel movie, Etertnals, has been banned by several countries in the Middle East over the portrayal of gay couple.

    During a press conference, the 46-year-old A-lister said she was ‘sad’ audiences would miss out and expressed her disbelief over ‘ignorant’ views regarding the ‘beauty of that relationship’ in the film, according to news.com.au.

    On Thursday it was reported that Eternals would not be shown in Saudi Arabia, Qatar or Kuwait over censorship concerns because it features a gay couple and a same-sex kiss.

    Speaking out: Angelina Jolie reacted to the news that her new Marvel movie, Etertnals, has been banned by several countries in the Middle East over the portrayal of gay couple calling it 'sad' and'ignorant', according to news.com.au

    Speaking out: Angelina Jolie reacted to the news that her new Marvel movie, Etertnals, has been banned by several countries in the Middle East over the portrayal of gay couple calling it  ‘sad’ and ‘ignorant’, according to news.com.au

    ‘I’m sad for [those audiences],’ Angelina said during an interview. ‘And I’m proud of Marvel for refusing to cut those scenes out.’

    The movie, which was due for release in the Middle East on November 11, has been quietly removed from websites in several countries advertising upcoming films.

    No official reason has been given, but homosexuality is still illegal across much of the Middle East and films are frequently banned there for referencing LGBT issues.

    Eternals features Marvel’s first on-screen gay couple – superhero Phastos, played by Brian Tyree Henry, who shares a home with non-hero Ben, played by Haaz Sleiman.

    'I'm sad for [those audiences],' Angelina said during an interview.'And I'm proud of Marvel for refusing to cut those scenes out.'

    ‘I’m sad for [those audiences],’ Angelina said during an interview. ‘And I’m proud of Marvel for refusing to cut those scenes out.’

    Censored: On Thursday it was reported that Eternals would not be shown in Saudi Arabia , Qatar or Kuwait because it features gay couple - superhero Phastos, played by Brian Tyree Henry (second right), and husband Ben, played by Haaz Sleiman (third right)

    Censored: On Thursday it was reported that Eternals would not be shown in Saudi Arabia , Qatar or Kuwait because it features gay couple – superhero Phastos, played by Brian Tyree Henry (second right), and husband Ben, played by Haaz Sleiman (third right)

    ‘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,’ Angelina said.

    Adding: ‘How anybody is angry about it, threatened by it, doesn’t approve or appreciate it is ignorant.’

    At one point during the film, the Phastos and his husband share a passionate kiss. It will be Marvel’s first same-sex kiss shown in cinemas.

    Ahead of the release, censors in several Middle Eastern nations had requested edits to remove the gay couple, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

    '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,' Angelina said. 'How anybody is angry about it, threatened by it, doesn't approve or appreciate it is ignorant.'

    ‘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,’ Angelina said. ‘How anybody is angry about it, threatened by it, doesn’t approve or appreciate it is ignorant.’

    But Disney, the company which owns the Marvel franchise, refused and the movie was pulled, according to the site.

    One Middle Eastern cinema chain confirmed to the site that Eternals had been ‘banned’, though said they had not been given an explanation.

    Last year, the Pixar film Onward was pulled from cinemas in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia over a single line that referenced a lesbian relationship.

    It is not the first time Eternals has been targeted because of its gay characters.

    In love: At one point during the film, the Phastos and his husband share a passionate kiss. It will be Marvel's first same-sex kiss shown in cinemas

    In love: At one point during the film, the Phastos and his husband share a passionate kiss. It will be Marvel's first same-sex kiss shown in cinemas

    In love: At one point during the film, the Phastos and his husband share a passionate kiss. It will be Marvel’s first same-sex kiss shown in cinemas (Brian Tyree Henry, Haaz Sleiman)

    Earlier this week the movie was ‘review-bombed’ – where people who haven’t seen a film target it with malicious reviews – which is thought to have been triggered by its depiction of homosexuality.

    The Last of Us Part II, the latest installment of a popular Playstation franchise that was released last year, was similarly targeted – thought to be at least in part due to its prominent use of LGBT characters.

    Meanwhile Eternals was also given an 18 rating in Singapore due to its depiction of homosexuality, the first film in the Marvel franchise not to get a PG13 rating.

    Close minded: Earlier this week the movie was'review-bombed' - where people who haven't seen a film target it with malicious reviews - which is thought to have been triggered by its depiction of homosexuality

    Close minded: Earlier this week the movie was ‘review-bombed’ – where people who haven’t seen a film target it with malicious reviews – which is thought to have been triggered by its depiction of homosexuality

    Eternals is Marvel’s 28th film based on a fictional race of humanoid aliens of the same name which first appeared in an American comic book series.

    The film sees the Eternals, who are immortal, come out of hiding for the first time in thousands of years to protect Earth from their evil counterparts, the Deviants.

    The movie, which premiered in Los Angeles earlier this month, stars Angelina Jolie as Thena, leader of the Eternals, alongside Gemma Chan as Sersi, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo and Lauren Ridloff as Makkari.

    The film was directed and co-written by Academy Award-winning director Chloé Zhao, who won the Oscar for Best Director and Best Picture last year for Nomadland.

    Eternals: The movie, which premiered in Los Angeles earlier this month, stars Angelina Jolie as Thena, leader of the Eternals, alongside Gemma Chan as Sersi, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo and Lauren Ridloff as Makkari

    Eternals: The movie, which premiered in Los Angeles earlier this month, stars Angelina Jolie as Thena, leader of the Eternals, alongside Gemma Chan as Sersi, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo and Lauren Ridloff as Makkari

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