Deadline has confirmed that Warner Bros’ billion-dollar grossing Barbie won’t be getting a release in Kuwait, and it’s skating on thin ice in Lebanon.
While local censorship authorities in Kuwait have deemed the Margot Robbie-Ryan Gosling pic as going against the grain of their values; Lebanon, which is typically liberal when it comes to LGBTQ+ content, feels the pic “promote homosexuality and sexual transformation” and “contradicts values of faith and morality.” This is according to Lebanon Culture Minister Mohammad Mortada in a Reuters piece.
Mortada is reportedly backed by the powerful Shi’ite armed group Hezbollah, whose head Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is against the LGBT community to severe degrees. Lebanon was the first Arab country to hold a gay pride week in 2017 and has been known as a safe haven for the LGBTQ+ community in the conservative Middle East.
Meanwhile, the Greta Gerwig directed movie is set for release in the Middle East’s two biggest markets, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Barbie in its fourth weekend looks to lead the box office again stateside with a 3-day of $32M. The pic will cross the half billion mark in U.S. and Canada this weekend. The pic reps a big splash for toymaker Mattel in the feature movie space; one of many feature projects the company has in the works based on its products in the near future.