Lebanon bans Barbie over gay undertones

Authorities in Kuwait and Lebanon have banned the release of Barbie, the live-action film based on the popular Mattel doll.

The Kuwaiti Ministry of Information’s committee on cinematic censorship decided on Wednesday to ban the screening of Barbie, state news agency Kuna said.

Quoting Lafy Al-Subei, the under secretary of the Ministry for Press and Publication, the agency said the decision “stemmed from keenness on protection of public and social traditions”.

“While deciding on any foreign movie, the committee usually orders censoring of the scenes that run counter to public ethics. But [if] a film carries alien concepts, message or unacceptable behaviour, the committee decides to bar the stuff in question as a whole,” Al-Subei said.

Meanwhile, Lebanon’s Culture Minister Mohammad Mortada has asked for the film to be banned, saying it “contradicts religious values”.

Based on Mortada’s move, Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi in turn asked General Security’s censorship committee, which falls under the interior ministry and is traditionally responsible for censorship decisions, to review the film and give its recommendation, Reuters reported.

Barbie, which stars Margot Robbie in the title role, hit the $1 billion milestone in only 17 days at the box office. It’s also the first movie directed by a woman, Greta Gerwig, to cross the billion dollar mark.

It follows Robbie’s Barbie and her partner Ken, played by Ryan Gosling, as they set out on an adventure into the real world.

The film is scheduled to be released in the UAE and Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

Another film, the supernatural horror flick Talk to Me, was also banned in Kuwait earlier this week. Written and directed by Australian twins Danny and Michael Philippou, the film has received acclaim worldwide.

It’s currently showing in cinemas in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

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