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Lebanon & Kuwait Banning 'Barbie' Because It 'Promotes Homosexuality'

Lebanon & Kuwait Banning 'Barbie' Because It 'Promotes Homosexuality'

(L to R) Kinglsey Ben-Adir, Ryan Gosling and Ncuti Gatwa in 'Barbie.'
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Both Middle Eastern countries are spouting anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric to justify the ban.

Despite Barbiebeing a box office dynamo across the globe, one country has banned the film entirely and another is considering it because the film “promotes homosexuality.”

On Wednesday Lebanon moved to ban the movie that has already raked in a billion dollars and Kuwait was not far behind.

Lebanon has long been thought of as a safe haven for LGBTQ+ people in the mostly conservative Middle East. In 2017 they became the first Arab country to hold a Gay Pride week, but anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric has been growing in the country. Lebanon Culture Minister Mohammad Mortada is reportedly backed by the armed Shi'ite group Hezbollah, whose head Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a recent speech that Islamic texts call for punishing offenders with death.

Mortada said that he found the movie to "promote homosexuality and sexual transformation" and "contradicts values of faith and morality," according to reporting by Reuters. The film is now under review with Lebanon’s General Security's censorship committee, which is traditionally responsible for censorship decisions.

Tensions ramped up more in the country when Nasrallah called on Lebanese authorities to ban materials he deemed to be promoting homosexuality in a speech last month, saying homosexuality posed an "imminent danger" that should be "confronted.”

In late July Nasrallah said that a homosexual act should be punished "from the first time, even if he is unmarried, he is killed,” Reuters reports.

Right after Lebanon made its decision, local censorship authorities in Kuwait banned Barbie after deeming the candy-coated trans-inclusive film as going against the country’s values and that they need to protect "public ethics and social traditions,” the state news agency said.

Although Kuwait and Lebanon have moved to ban the Margo Robbie-starring film, it’s set to be released in both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Being locked out of these two countries isn’t slowing Barbie down. Even in its fourth week it’s still leading the box office and has already topped $1 billion worldwide and has led to Mattel rolling out an entire cinematic universe built around their toys.

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