Kuwait has banned the movie Barbie to protect “public ethics and social traditions.” This comes after a Lebanese minister asked that the movie be taken out of theaters in his country because it “promotes homosexuality.”
According to the official KUNA news agency, a spokesman for the Kuwaiti Ministry of Information said late Wednesday that the Warner Brothers movie, which has made more than $1 billion at the box office since its release, “promotes ideas and beliefs that are foreign to Kuwaiti society and public order.”
Talk to Me, an Australian ghostly horror movie, was also banned for the same reason.
Mohammad Mortada, who is in charge of culture in Lebanon, said on Wednesday that he has asked the interior minister to “do whatever it takes to stop showing Barbie” in the country.
The movie “promotes homosexuality and transsexuality… “She supports rejecting a father’s right to be a guardian, puts down and makes fun of the mother’s role, and questions the need for marriage and having a family,” he said.
After Mortada asked, Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi asked the country’s censorship committee, which is usually in charge of censorship decisions and is part of his ministry, to look at the picture and give its opinion.
The movie was supposed to be shown in theaters in Lebanon starting on August 31.
Calls to outlaw the Barbie movie have grown as a result of Hezbollah’s aggressive anti-LGBTQ campaign in Lebanon.
In a speech last month, Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, asked the Lebanese government to do something about materials that he thought promoted homosexuality, such as “banning” them. He said that being gay was an “imminent threat” to Lebanon and that it should be “faced.”
Nasrallah said, “From the first time, even if he is single, he is killed, even if he is gay.”
Ayman Mhanna, the head of a non-profit group called the Samir Kassir Foundation, told the news service Reuters that the decision to ban the movie was made because of “a wave of bigotry.”
Mhanna said, “This is part of a larger campaign against LGBT people that includes Hezbollah, the Christian far right, and other top religious leaders.”
Despite the fact that it doesn’t depict any same-sex relationships or queer themes, LGBTQ groups all over the world eagerly anticipated the movie Barbie, in which Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling play Barbie and Ken.
It is the first movie by a woman director who worked alone to make more than a billion dollars.
Vietnam has already banned the movie because of a scene in which a fake map of the world is said to show China’s claims in the contested South China Sea.
The Philippines agreed to let the movie be shown, but they asked that the picture of the disputed sea be made less clear.
Officials in Pakistan’s Punjab province said last month that the film’s release was delayed because it had “objectionable content.” However, they did not say what was “objectionable” or why.