Thursday January 20, 2022

Steven Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’ banned in Saudi Arabia, UAE, more

The ban comes as a result of a transgender character being included in the film

By Web Desk
December 07, 2021

Disney’s adaptation of hit musical West Side Story, directed by Hollywood heavyweight Steven Spielberg, has been banned in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait, reported Variety.

According to reports, the ban comes as a result of Disney refusing to comply with censors in Qatar and Oman, and the film not being given a release certificate in SA and Kuwait due to a character being transgender in the film.

Censor boards across the Middle Eastern region refused to play the film with the character Anybodys, a transgender role played by non-binary actor Iris Menas.

The move doesn’t come as a shock as content with references to LGBTQ spectrum are regularly banned, the most recent being Marvel’s Eternals, which was banned because of an openly same-sex couple in the film.

West Side Story otherwise releases on Friday, November 10, and stars Rachel Zegler, Ansel Elgort, Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Mika Faist, and Rita Moreno among others.