Marvel’s latest film, Eternals has been banned in several countries, a decision Angelina Jolie deems “sad” and “ignorant”.
Angelina Jolie has spoken out about the fact that Eternals is banned in several countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar, where homosexuality is deemed illegal.
“How anybody is angry about it, threatened by it, doesn’t approve or appreciate it is ignorant,” Jolie said in an interview.
She continued: “And I’m proud of Marvel for refusing to cut those scenes out. I still don’t understand how we live in a world today where there’s still [people who] would not see the family Phastos has and the beauty of that relationship and that love.”
Eternals’ Phastos is one of the few queer characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He is married to Ben, and the two of them share an on-screen kiss, a first for a Marvel film. This is especially heartwarming for LGBTQI+ Marvel fans, who have been pushing for more representation for years. However, this also raises several other issues, namely how the movie will be screened in countries with strict regulations pertaining to homosexuality in media.
It is not uncommon for movies to have scenes related to homosexuality removed to comply with censorship laws and regulations in certain countries. Bohemian Rhapsody, for example, removed any references to Freddie Mercury’s sexuality in order to comply with China’s notoriously strict media guidelines.
Marvel, however, did not intend to remove any such scenes from Eternals, according to a statement by Eternals director Chloe Zhao.
“I don’t know all the details, but I do believe discussions were had and there’s a big desire for Marvel and myself – we talked about this – to not change the cut of the movie.”
Unfortunately, despite their efforts, it appears that parts of the movie will be cut in some countries, after all. Although Eternals will still be available in the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt, those countries will be screening an edited version, with scenes depicting both heterosexual and homosexual intimacy removed entirely.