"Eternals" Star Angelina Jolie Proud of Marvel for Refusing to Bow to Censors in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait Due to Film's Depiction of First Openly Gay Hero
Superstar Angelina Jolie has spoken out regarding how proud she is of Marvel for refusing to bow to censors in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait with their film, "Eternals." Reportedly, censors in these Gulf nations put pressure on Marvel to cut scenes featuring Brian Tyree Henry's Phastos, the first openly gay hero depicted in the MCU.
In quotes cited in The Hollywood Reporter, the A-lister said, "I'm sad for [those audiences]. And I'm proud of Marvel for refusing to cut those scenes out. 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. How anybody is angry about it, threatened by it, doesn't approve or appreciate it is ignorant."
Directed by Oscar-winning director Chloe Zhao, "Eternals" has been lauded for its diverse and inclusive cast, and for the film's director's wish to take the film in that direction. However, according to the same Hollywood Reporter article, sources claim that the inclusivity may have been a step too far for these Gulf Nations due to a scene where Phastos and his husband, Ben, played by Haaz Sleiman, kiss on screen.
In "Eternals," Jolie plays Thena, an elite warrior whose special power comprises forming any weapon using cosmic energy. In addition to her successful film career, Jolie is widely regarded for her humanitarian work, where she often advocates for helping refugees, conservation, education, and women's rights. Jolie's latest move to defend "Eternals" from anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments follows her track record of standing up for causes she believes in.
While audiences in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait may have a hard time watching "Eternals," audiences in the United Arab Emirates will not be affected. The film is still set for theater release on November 11, 2021.
Marvel's "Eternals" begins playing in theaters throughout the United States on November 5, 2021. For more entertainment news and commentary, check out Enstarz! We bring you the latest on your favorite celebrities, TV shows, and films.