West Side Story is banned in the Middle East

The epic love tale between Maria and Tony will be missed by certain Middle Eastern viewers. Disney and 20th Century rendition of the famous musical “West Side Story,” directed by Steven Spielberg, has been banned in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait.

Furthermore, the film was not given a release certificate in several countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Moreover, Disney refuses to comply with censorship requests in other nations, such as Qatar and Oman.

In view of the fact that Middle Eastern countries have severe censorship regulations about sexuality, profanity, and other characteristics that do not agree with the nation’s cultural beliefs, the movie isn’t altogether unusual. Although “West Side Story” is not vulgar, it is understood that censors did not approve of Anybodys, a transgender character played by non-binary actress Iris Menas. In addition to that, censors in the Middle East and China have frequently targeted films containing LGBTQ undertones.

Eternals faces the same Middle Eastern ban!

The inclusion of Marvel’s first openly same-sex pair in Disney’s comic book epic “Eternals” was recently pulled from release in the same region. Brian Tyree Henry’s otherworldly character Phastos kisses his mortal husband Ben in the film (Haaz Sleiman).

Also Read: Disney Pixar drops first trailer for Domee Shi’s ‘Turning Red’

West Side Story, a remake of romance!

On Friday, “West Side Story” will be released in theatres around the country. Rachel Zegler and Ansel Elgort act as star-crossed lovers in the new remake, which comes 60 years after the original film (which was taken from a 1957 Broadway show). Their new romance adds to the conflict between the Jets and the Sharks, two opposing street gangs. Anita is played by Ariana DeBose, Bernardo is played by David Alvarez, the character Riff is played by Mike Faist, and Valentina is played by Rita Moreno (who received an Oscar for her performance as Anita in the 1961 adaption).

West Side Story, a success worldwide?

Surprisingly, West Side Story has gotten overwhelmingly excellent reviews and is expected to get numerous Academy Award nominations. “A brilliantly conceived cunningly tweaked, and visually astounding rebirth,” according to Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian.

Watch the trailer below,

Last but not the least, Disney has not yet responded. We shall have to wait for now!

Read: Friday Flix Movie Review: Zootopia

Have something to add to the story? Comment down below!