Disney has reportedly refused to cut a 12-second scene of America Chavez mentioning her two mothers in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, as requested by theaters in Saudi Arabia. As reported by The Guardian, Saudi Arabia has asked Disney to cut “LGBTQ references” from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness before it can be screened in the kingdom, Disney declined the requested edits and the officials had confirmed that the film has been banned.
According to Nawaf Alsabhan, Saudi Arabia’s general supervisor of cinema classification told that to cut “barely 12 seconds” in which a lesbian character, America Chavez, played by the actor Xochitl Gomez, refers to her “two moms”
“It’s just her talking about her moms because she has two moms,” Alsabhan said. “And being in the Middle East, it’s very tough to pass something like this.” he added: “We sent it to the distributor, and the distributor sent it to Disney, and Disney has told us they are not willing.”
“It will never be banned,” he told Agence France-Presse. “There’s no reason to ban the film. It’s a simple edit … So far they have refused. But we haven’t closed the door. We’re still trying.”
The film was banned in Kuwait on Friday with all the advance tickets sales had been removed from sale in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar, but not in the United Arab Emirates.
Doctor Strange sequel is directed by Sam Raimi and stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Karl Mordo, Benedict Wong as Wong, Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez, with Michael Stuhlbarg as Nicodemus West, and Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer.
To restore a world where everything is changing, Strange seeks help from his ally Wong, the Sorcerer Supreme, and the Avengers’ most powerful Scarlet Witch, Wanda. But a terrible threat looms over humanity and the entire universe that no longer can be done by their power alone. Even more surprising, the greatest threat in the universe looks exactly like Doctor Strange.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will hit theaters on May 6, 2022.