A Disney Pixar film that makes a passing reference to a character’s LGBTQ relationship was banned by several Middle Eastern countries, according to media reports.
Onward, a 2020 computer-animated film about two young elf brothers’ magical quest, was praised for featuring the first openly gay character in a Disney film.
Her orientation is hinted at in a brief sentence.
In one scene, the protagonists discuss parenting with two policewomen. A purple cyclops officer named Specter says “It’s not easy being a new parent – my girlfriend’s daughter got me pulling my hair out, okay?”
While the film was banned in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia due to the reference, other Arab countries, including Bahrain, Lebanon and Egypt have gone ahead with the screenings.
Meanwhile, Russia censored the scene by changing the word “girlfriend” to “partner”.
Homosexuality is still illegal across most parts of the Arab world, and in some cases is punishable by death.
In Lebanon, members of the LGBT community enjoy comparatively more freedom than in most other Middle East countries but still have no rights and face constant harassment.