Yesterday, we learned that Eternals will no longer show in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar due to their inclusion of the first same-sex couple and first gay superhero in the MCU. Now, one of its stars has commented about the issue.
Speaking with Australia's News.com, Angelina Jolie, who plays Thena in the film, slammed the banning of the MCU flick in the Middle East countries. She 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."
Unfortunately, homosexuality is still officially illegal across the Gulf region which is why the local censors in those countries are refusing to show the film. A similar situation also happened last year when they banned Onward for a single line's reference on a lesbian relationship. It is frustrating to hear news like this because you would think more people would embrace views like this today and yet some countries are still not open to ideas beyond the traditional norm.
It is great that Jolie is speaking out about this because this could start a conversation. It may not necessarily make the local censors in those countries change their minds, but it could at least have people talk about it and hopefully make a change in the future. MCU fans in those countries are being robbed of an opportunity to see the introduction of the new set of superheroes that are expected to be major players in the franchise moving forward.
Despite the mixed reviews from critics, Eternals already has a great start at the international box office as it grossed $7.6 million on its first day and it is projected to open at around $75 million at the domestic box office in its opening weekend.
Eternals is now showing in theaters.