‘Barbie’ Banned in Kuwait, Faces Censor Review in Lebanon

While “Barbie” has become a huge hit with over $1 billion grossed at the global box office, the comedy has now been banned in Kuwait and may face a similar fate in Lebanon over accusations that it “contradicts values of faith and morality.”

According to the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), the Warner Bros. film was banned along with A24 horror film “Talk to Me,” a film which does not contain any LGBTQ+ themes but was banned over the presence of trans nonbinary actor Zoe Terakes in the cast.

Lafi Al-Subaie, chairman of Kuwait’s censorship committee, accused the two films of accused the film of “carrying ideas that encourage unacceptable behavior and distort society’s values.”

In Lebanon, Reuters reports that the country’s culture minister Mohammad Mortada has called on censors to ban “Barbie,” saying that the film “promote homosexuality and sexual transformation” and “contradicts values of faith and morality.”

Mortada’s demand comes as Lebanon, traditionally considered a safe haven in the Middle East for LGBTQ+ individuals, has seen an upswell in violent rhetoric against homosexuality. Leading such calls is Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, head of the Shi’ite group Hezbollah, who last month said that homosexuality was an “imminent danger” to Lebanon and called for those found engaging in it to be put to death.

Meanwhile, “Barbie” will receive a release in movie theaters in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the two largest box office markets in the Middle East, on Thursday. It is unknown whether cuts requested by censors in those countries have been made. TheWrap has reached out to Warner Bros. for comment.

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