‘West Side Story’ banned in Persian Gulf countries


It is not the first (nor unfortunately it will be the last) time that a film is censored for the presence of a character belonging to the LGTBIQ + collective. Some recent examples have been ‘ Eternals or’ Bohemian Rhapsody ‘. Now it is the turn of the remake of  West Side Story ‘, which will not be released in most of the countries of the Persian Gulf and the reason seems to be that among the cast there is a non-binary person, Iris Menas.

In Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, the film has not passed censorship and its projection is not allowed. In other countries, such as Qatar, although the film could be released, several scenes had to be cut for it. Disney has chosen not to do so and not bring the film there directly. Although there is no official reason, according to Deadline, it could be the presence of Anybodys, a transgender character played by Menas.

This version of the 1961 musical about the love between two young people from rival gangs is the new creation of Steven Spielberg, who has directed Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler in the iconic roles of Tony and Maria. The first impressions of the critics leave the film through the roof.


This same year something very similar happened with ‘Eternals‘. Its premiere was not allowed in these same countries if scenes were not eliminated in which Phastos ( Brian Tyree Henry ) was shown as an openly homosexual person, along with his husband Ben (Haaz Sleiman), with whom he has a son. Marvel also did not allow any scenes to be removed.

One of the protagonists of the film, Angelina Jolie, spoke like this on the subject: “If someone feels angry about it or does not approve or appreciate it, they are ignorant. ” To which she adds: “I am sad for those audiences. And I am proud of Marvel for refusing to cut those scenes. I still do not understand how we live in a world where there are still people who would not see the family that Phastos has and the beauty of that relationship. and that love. “





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