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Monday, May 20, 2024

Lebanon, Kuwait ban Barbie movie

Lebanon's Minister of Culture has taken a notable step in banning the screening of the film "Barbie" in cinemas, citing apprehensions over its perceived promotion of homosexuality and its alleged conflict with religious values.

Authorities in Lebanon and Kuwait ban the screening of the movie Barbie on the concerns of Homosexuality.

Lebanon’s Minister of Culture has taken a notable step in banning the screening of the film “Barbie” in cinemas, citing apprehensions over its perceived promotion of homosexuality and its alleged conflict with religious values.

The decision has garnered support from Hezbollah, a powerful Shiite armed group led by Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, who has been vocal about his opposition to the LGBT community. Kuwait has also banned the film for similar reasons.

Lebanon has historically been recognized as a relatively open environment for the LGBT community in the conservative Middle East, even hosting a gay pride week in 2017. However, recent developments, including restrictions on events deemed to “promote sexual perversion” and calls to counter materials advocating homosexuality, have caused a shift in this perception, leading to heightened tensions.

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In a recent address, Nasrallah urged Lebanese authorities to take strong measures against content that he believes supports homosexuality, advocating for its complete prohibition. Nasrallah’s stance reflects his view that homosexuality poses a direct threat to Lebanon’s social fabric, underlining the need for robust intervention. Notably, he endorsed severe consequences, including capital punishment, for individuals involved in same-sex relationships, regardless of their marital status.

Separately, Lebanon’s cabinet, following a meeting with prominent Christian figure Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai, issued a statement encouraging the upholding of traditional family values. While not explicitly addressing the LGBT community, this statement has sparked discussions regarding its potential implications.

Ayman Mhanna, the executive director of the non-profit Samir Kassir Foundation, expressed concerns about these recent actions, describing them as part of a broader pattern of prejudice. He pointed to the alignment of influential forces such as Hezbollah, the far-right Christian faction, and prominent religious leaders, suggesting a coordinated effort against the LGBT community. Mhanna emphasized that this alliance signifies a troubling wave of intolerance.

“Barbie,” featuring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as the main characters, has achieved significant success, surpassing $1 billion in global box office sales since its release on July 21. The film follows the adventures of the iconic Mattel Inc doll as she navigates the real world. Nevertheless, the film’s accomplishments are now overshadowed by the controversy surrounding its prohibition in Lebanon and Kuwait, underscoring the intricate interplay of cultural, religious, and societal values in the region.