Recent Marvel movies are seeking to raise the level of LGBTQ+ representation on big screens, but this intention is not met with enthusiasm in some countries.
The scene in 'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness' that triggered the Saudi Arabian censors is only 12 seconds long, and it contains a brief reference to the LGBTQ+ community.
The entire controversy is about America Chavez, a lesbian character in the movie, revealing that she has two moms.
"Being in the Middle East, it's very tough to pass something like this," Nawaf Alsabhan, Saudi Arabia's general supervisor of cinema classification, told The Guardian.
The movie has not been banned in Saudi Arabia as of yet, but, since Disney refused to make what the censors deemed "a simple edit", chances are that the Saudi fans won't get to see the film after all.
Disney is no stranger to clashing with the Middle Eastern countries on the issue of LGBTQ+ representation in its movies. For instance, in 'Eternals' there is a gay couple sharing a kiss – a scene that also did not sit well with Saudi Arabia and several other countries. Back at the time, Disney similarly refused to edit the movie, and it ended up not premiering in the countries that were not okay with it.
With Saudi Arabia still holding the door open for Disney to backtrack, 'Multiverse of Madness' has already been banned in Egypt and Kuwait due to featuring LGBTQ+ content.