‘Death On The Nile’ Banned In Lebanon, Kuwait Over Israeli Star Gal Gadot
Lebanon has reportedly banned the film Death on the Nile, as well as Kuwait, over Israeli star Gal Gadot’s ties to the Israeli Defense Forces.
Lebanon will not screen Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’smurder mystery novel, Deadline reported Thursday.
Earlier in the week, Agence France-Presse confirmed local reports that Kuwait had banned the film following social media protests over Gadot.
Gadot served a mandatory two years in the IDF, and has become a target of criticism in the Arab world over her public support for the IDF and slamming of the Palestinian militant group Hamas during the Gaza war in 2014.
Disney did not immediately respond to Forbes’ request for comment.
Moviegoers in Lebanon and Kuwait may not be missing much: reviews have been mediocre, with the film earning a 63% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, and the New York Times headlining its review with the zinger, ‘Dead In The Water.’
Other actors on the production have caused Disney embarrassment and made life a “nightmare” for its publicists, an unnamed industry source told the New York Post. The film stars Armie Hammer, who has been accused of rape and cannibalism; Letitia Wright, who posted a since-deleted video that questioned the safety of Covid-19 vaccines; and Russell Brand, who has expressed similar distrust on his YouTube channel. Disney did not schedule a press tour for the film, and publicists from the company declined to tell the New York Post why, though a source told the paper, “Nobody wants to talk about the film.”
Kuwait has been vocally and financially supportive of Palestinians during their struggle for autonomy from Israel. Lebanon and Israel have technically been in a state of war since 2006, though they’ve maintained a ceasefire for nearly 16 years. Lebanon banned another one of Gadot’s films, 2017’s Wonder Woman, just two hours before it was set to begin screening in the country’s theaters after a group called “Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel – Lebanon,” demanded the Lebanese government remove the film in protest of its star. Qatar also banned Wonder Woman. It’s far from the first U.S. film to be banned in the Middle East. In December, six Gulf nations—Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait—banned Disney’s West Side Story reboot, reportedly in response to a character in the film who is transgender and portrayed by a non-binary actor. In November, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar banned Disney and Marvel Studios’ Eternals, likely due to the film’s inclusion of a gay superhero and his husband. Homosexuality is considered illegal in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar. In Saudi Arabia, the legally prescribed punishment for same-sex sexual acts is the death penalty.
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