‘Barbie’ Banned in Kuwait, Accused of “Promoting Homosexuality” in Lebanon

‘Barbie’ Banned in Kuwait, Accused of “Promoting Homosexuality” in Lebanon

Bill Maher may have recently claimed that Warner Bros.’ blockbuster hit is Barbie is “man hating,” but in some corners of the Middle East it’s being accused of the opposite.

The film — which has already surpassed $1 billion globally in less than three weeks — has now been banned in Kuwait with moves to do the same in Lebanon.

In Lebanon, which has traditionally been considered among the more liberal countries in the region regarding the LGBTQ community, the culture minister Mohammad Mortada said that Barbie “promotes homosexuality” and “contradicts values of faith and morality,” by diminishing the importance of the family unit.

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Following Mortal’s comments, the government body that oversees film censorship has, according to Reuters, now been asked to review the film and give its recommendation, with the film now expected to be banned.

Kuwait is perhaps less of surprise, having long been among the strictest when it comes to what can be seen in cinemas. Local reports there assert that the chairman of the film censorship committee Lafi Al-Subaie has accused the film of “carrying ideas that encourage unacceptable behavior and distort society’s values.”

While Barbie may not be hitting screens in Lebanon and Kuwait, the film is set for release in the Middle East’s two biggest markets, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Following several weeks of wait and speculation it was set to join the list of major films having been banned, it was announced earlier this week that it would release on August 10. However, it remains unclear if any cuts — which had been requested by the censor — have been made.