UAE bans the new Spider-Man movies – level 3
Sony’s movie ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ won’t be screened in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) without explanation, following debates about its portrayal of transgender themes.
The animated sequel, released in the United States on June 2nd, was scheduled for a June 22nd release in the Gulf region. Vox Cinemas, a subsidiary of Majid Al Futtaim, confirmed that the film wouldn’t be released in the UAE. Other major cinema chains in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain have also not listed the movie as part of their upcoming releases. The decision reflects the conservative norms in the Middle East, where deviations from traditional sexual norms are considered taboo and even criminal.
The UAE Media Council stated that it wouldn’t permit the circulation of content conflicting with the country’s values and media standards. This follows a previous ban on another film ‘Lightyear’ due to its same-sex relationship portrayal.
Difficult words: portrayal (a representation of something in a work of art or literature), deviation (something that’s different from the usual or common things), taboo (a subject, word, or action that’s avoided for religious or social reasons).
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What are the implications of a media censorship system that prevents LGBT-inclusive films from circulating in the Middle East?
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