In a surprise move, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has said that the new Spider-Man movie will not be shown there. Many fans were surprised by the choice, which has caused a wave of disappointment and interest. The UAE’s National Media Council said that “unspecified content” was the reason for the ban, leaving moviegoers wondering what specific parts of the film led to the ban.
Fans of Marvel in the UAE are upset by the move, and it has also sparked discussions about censorship and artistic freedom in the country. Fans are waiting for more information, but the ban makes them wonder what will happen to superhero movies in the UAE in the future.
UAE Bans Screening of New Spider-Man Film
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has outlawed Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse after it failed to meet its censorship standards. The prohibition was announced one week before the movie’s scheduled local premiere.
Inquirer (@inquirerdotnet) said on Twitter:
The United Arab Emirates will not screen Sony’s “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” Vox Cinemas said without explanation, amid debate online and among regional movie fans about the animated film’s treatment of transgender themes. | @Reutershttps://t.co/LU3H89Zbhd
— Inquirer (@inquirerdotnet) June 16, 2023
Variety claims that the transgender flag-adorned poster background shown in the scene with the slogan “Protect Trans Lives” may be the cause of the ban. Same-s*x s*xual conduct between men and women is forbidden in the UAE.
According to Human Dignity Trust, “the gender expression of trans people is also criminalized” in the nation, and the highest sentence for offenders is the death penalty. Both the “sodomy” and “unnatural s*x with another person” offenses in Dubai, as well as the “unnatural s*x with another person” offenses in Abu Dhabi, both forbid same-s*x s*xual behavior.
Although there is no indication that this has been done thus far, people may also be punished in accordance with Sharia law, which allows for the possibility of the death penalty. The Federal Penal Code of the UAE from 1987, which criminalizes “male disguising as a female” and has a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a fine, may also be used against trans individuals in addition to the statutes mentioned above.
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The movie Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse isn’t the only one that the UAE has outlawed. A sequence in Disney and Pixar’s Lightyear from the previous year that showed a same-s*x kiss between two space rangers caused it to be banned in the nation as well.
The movie was prohibited not just in the UAE but also in Malaysia, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. In just over 12 days since the film opened in theaters, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has made around $400 million in total worldwide sales.