Disney and 20th Century’s West Side Story, director Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the classic musical, has been banned in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait.
According to Variety, in some cases, like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, the film wasn’t granted a release certificate. In other countries, such as Qatar and Oman, Disney refused to comply with cuts requested by censors. The move isn’t entirely surprising because Middle Eastern countries have strict censorship mandates regarding sexuality, swearing, and other aspects that don’t comply with the nation’s cultural views.
West Side Story isn’t profane, but it’s understood that censors weren’t on board with Anybodys, a character who is transgender and portrayed by non-binary actor Iris Menas. Films with LGBTQ references have been regularly targeted by censors in the Middle East, as well as China.
Most recently, Disney’s comic book epic Eternals was pulled from release across the…