Angelina Jolie has reacted to reports Marvel’s Eternals will not hit cinemas in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or Qatar due to a same-sex kiss scene.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Eternals has been pulled from release in those countries after Disney refused a number of edit requests by local censors.
Sources claimed the requests revolved around the inclusion of a same-sex married couple, Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) and Ben (Haaz Sleiman), who have a son and share a kiss in the film. Homosexuality is still illegal across the Gulf region.
Speaking to news.com.au, Jolie, who plays Thena in Eternals, said: “I’m sad for [those audiences]. 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.
“How anybody is angry about it, threatened by it, doesn’t approve or appreciate it is ignorant.”
Last year, Pixar’s Onward was banned in the same territories over a reference to a lesbian relationship. It was also censored in Russia.
Eternals director Chloe Zhao has previously explained how she had discussions with Marvel to not make any cuts to the movie in other territories.
Speaking to IndieWire, Zhao said: “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. Fingers crossed.”
In NME’s four-star review, Eternals is described as an “ambitious and somewhat sprawling origin story” which is “executed with flair”.