‘Across The Spider-Verse’ Pulled From Exhibitor Schedules Across The Middle East
Written by on June 18, 2023
Mile Morales won’t be swinging into cinemas in several Middle Eastern countries after Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse was pulled from the release schedule in territories across the region.
No reason was given for the film’s removal from the upcoming schedules, but there is speculation that it’s related to a poster on Gwen’s wall that reads, “Protect Trans Kids.” (Seen above)
The film was meant to be released in theaters across the Gulf region on June 22, and as recently as last Sunday pre-orders of tickets were still being offered by exhibitor Vox.
However, the company told Reuters on Thursday that the movie would not be released in the UAE. Other major cinema chains in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain including Vox, Novo, and Reel cinemas do not list the film in the coming soon promotional areas on their websites or social media accounts.
On Monday, the UAE Media Council tweeted (translated by Google):
Disclaimer: The Emirates Media Council monitors and evaluates the media content circulating locally, and the Council confirms that it will not allow the circulation or publication of content contrary to the values and principles of the UAE and the standards of media content in force in the country.
No specific titles were mentioned in the tweet.
Last summer, Pixar’s Lightyear was banned in several Middle Eastern territories for including a blink-and-you-miss-it same-sex kiss. Across the Gulf region, the film was also pulled from Disney+ along with other content that didn’t align with several countries’ regulatory standards.
Disney, predicting distribution difficulties in territories where films featuring LGBTQIA+ characters and storylines had been banned in the past, proactively chose to skip numerous markets with last year’s Strange World, which features a gay main character.