In the socially conservative Arab Gulf, any deviation from traditional sexual norms is considered taboo and in many countries, it is a criminal offense
The United Arab Emirates will not screen the highly-anticipated “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” movie, Vox Cinemas said Thursday without a reason, amid online debates among regional movie fans about the animated film’s values and transgender themes.
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Released on June 2 in the United States, the sequel to 2018’s Oscar-winning “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” was set for a June 22 release in the Gulf region.
But Vox, a subsidiary of the Emirati holding company Majid Al Futtaim, said in response to a query via Facebook that the movie would not be released in the UAE.
The film has sparked debate online about whether the character Gwen Stacy is transgender, and a scene in a trailer shows a sign in the background that reads “protect trans kids.”
The UAE Media Council on Monday tweeted that it “will not allow the circulation or publication of content contrary to the values and principles of the UAE and the standards of media content in force in the country.”
In the socially conservative Arab Gulf, any deviation from traditional sexual norms is considered taboo and in many countries, it is a criminal offense.
In June 2022, the UAE banned Walt Disney-Pixar’s animated feature film “Lightyear” from screening because it featured characters in a same-sex relationship.