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Angelina Jolie Rails Against Countries That Banned 'Eternals' Due To Prominent LGBTQ+ Portrayal

Angelina Jolie Rails Against Countries That Banned 'Eternals' Due To Prominent LGBTQ+ Portrayal
Karwai Tang/WireImage/GettyImages

Marvel's Eternals never made it to theaters in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar, allegedly due to the inclusion of the studio's first main superhero character who is gay and shares a same-sex kiss.

Homosexuality is still officially illegal across the Gulf region, and any films referencing LGBTQ+ issues are frequently pulled from release.

According to The Hollywood Reporter,Disney was unwilling to compromise the all-star superhero film with edit requests from local censors.

Angelina Jolie, who co-stars in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film as the warrior, Thena, lauded the wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company's effort in maintaining the film's integrity.

"I'm proud of Marvel for refusing to cut those scenes out," Jolie told an Australian media outlet during a press roundtable.

She also expressed her disappointment for Gulf region audiences who will not be able to see the LGBTQ representation in the film's character, Phastos.

The superhero, played by Brian Tyree Henry, is an Eternal who is in a long-term relationship with a mortal with whom he has a young son.

"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," said Jolie.

"How anybody is angry about it, threatened by it, doesn't approve or appreciate it is ignorant."

Twitter users also expressed their frustration.

Eternals is about the titular immortal alien race who has fought to protect planet Earth from their evil counterparts, the Deviants, for thousands of years.

The 26th MCU film was domestically targeted online by anti-LGBTQ+ trolls after discovering it would be the first Marvel movie to feature a title main character who is gay.

Homophobic groups attempted to sabotage Eternals' performance in theaters with over 450 one-star reviews on IMDb ahead of its premiere to the general public.

This was not the first time Disney faced resistance for featuring LGBTQ+ themes in their movies.

Pixar's Onward was banned from screening in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, allegedly due to a line referencing a lesbian relationship between two featured characters.

Eternals was directed and co-written by Academy Award-winning director, Chloé Zhao.

Zhao was already aware specific countries would oppose the movie's LGBTQ representation, but she maintained she would never waver in her vision for the film.

Earlier this year, she told IndieWire she would not censor the movie.

"I don't know all the details, but I do believe discussions were had and there's a big desire for Marvel and myself – we talked about this – to not change the cut of the movie."

In addition to Jolie, Eternals' diverse cast includes co-stars Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lia McHugh, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, Don Lee, Harish Patel, Kit Harington, and Salma Hayek.