'Eternals' controversy: film is now banned in several countries

Joe Mertens

The heroes of Marvels "Eternals"CBR

Marvel's upcoming blockbuster "Eternals" is now officially banned in several countries because of an openly gay character and a kiss. In Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait, the film is listed as unavailable. In Saudi Arabia, homosexuality is punishable by death across the region, and in Singapore, the movie is listed as M18, meaning no one under 18 years of age can view the movie. A single spokesman for Singapore's Infocomm Media Media Development Authority said it was the "homosexual references" that got the film that rating.

It's also unlikely that the movie is released in China, due to a backlash director Chloe Zhao received when she talked about her upbringing there. This is a big blow for Marvel, as China is the largest film market in the world. China also skipped out on "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" because of alleged "insults" from the film's star Simu Liu.

This controversy has gotten the attention of some of the film's stars, including Angelina Jolie. Jolie, who plays the warrior Thena in the new movie, had this to say: "I'm sad for those audiences. And I'm proud of Marvel for refusing to cut those scenes out...How anybody is angry about it, threatened by it, doesn't approve or appreciate it is ignorant."

The film comes out in the U.S. this weekend and it will be interesting to see how the box-office numbers look. Marvel fans are loyal, and most of them aren't homophobic either, so I'm sure "Eternals" will be just fine.

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