‘West Side Story’ banned in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait due to LGBTQ character

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At least two countries won’t be screening the new ‘???? West Side Story???? The remake, reportedly due to feature a non-binary actor.

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Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have not granted the live-action film a release certificate, barring it from viewing in those countries. according to wrap, The film was initially targeted for release in Saudi Arabia on 9 December, just before its release in North America on 10 December.

Meanwhile, censors in other Middle Eastern countries – Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates – reportedly requested cuts in the new film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical. However, Walt Disney and 20th Century Studios have decided not to cut, an insider told The Wrap.

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Neither Disney nor 20th Century immediately returned the Post’s request for comment.

The studio reportedly anticipates that the film will release in some other Middle East countries.

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The reason for the ban on the New York-set “Romeo and Juliet” has not been specified, but The Wrap suggested it was due to Anybody, a teenage character written as transgender and played by actor Iris Menace. which identifies as non-binary.

The flick is likely to soon be banned from several other Middle Eastern countries as well.
Twentieth Century Granthshala Film Corporation
West Side Story Banned Saudi Arabia
Iris Menace as Anybodies (far left) in “West Side Story”.
Twentieth Century Granthshala Film Corporation

Saudi Arabia has previously censored many films based on issues related to being LGBTQ, which is illegal in the country. Marvelâ????s â????Eternals,â???? The release of which features a gay superhero, was blocked there recently.

Meanwhile, in New York, â????West Side Storyâ???? Enjoyed its world premiere on 29 November – a sad affair with Sondheim having died just days before.

West Side Story Banned Saudi Arabia
Sean Harrison Jones, Patrick Higgins, Jess LeProto, Kevin Kosolak, Mike Faust and Garrett Howe in “West Side Story” (2021).
Twentieth Century Granthshala Film Corporation

â????His amazing work for one????West Side Story???? [in 1957] first put him on the map, and embark on a career that would completely redraw that map, reimagining music and theater and creating a body of work that is beyond any doubt as immortal as Anything created by a mortal can be, ???? Director Steven Spielberg paid a heartfelt tribute to the late great musician at the event.

West Side Story Banned Saudi Arabia
“West Side Story” starring Rachel Ziegler, Josh Andrés Rivera, Iris Menes, Ricardo Zayas, Carlos Sanchez Fallu, Sean Harrison Jones, Patrick Higgins, David Alvarez, Julius Rubio, Ben Cooke, Mike Fast, Ansel Elgort and Sebastian Cera (2021) .
Twentieth Century Granthshala Film Corporation

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