That bastion of tolerance and human rights is at it again. Saudi Arabia has said “No thank you!” to Marvel Studios’ latest. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has been banned in Saudi Arabia, and several other Arab countries, because it features a gay character.
Xochitl Gomez plays America Chavez. In the comics she is gay. Presumably, this carries through into the movie. So the Sam Raimi directed sequel is to be stopped at the border.
America Chavez first appeared in the 2011 limited series Vengeance by Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta. Chavez later appears in the 2013 Young Avengers series by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie and in the 2015 series, A-Force, by G. Willow Wilson, Marguerite Bennett, and Jorge Molina.
Beginning in October 2015, Chavez appeared in Ultimates by Al Ewing and Kenneth Rocafort as part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel initiative. At the 2016 New York ComicCon, Marvel announced that Chavez would receive her first solo series—simply titled America. That series, written by Latin-American novelist Gabby Rivera, launched in March 2017 and was canceled in April 2018.
In August 2018, Chavez joined the West Coast Avengers in a series by writer Kelly Thompson and artist Stefano Caselli.
Disney had some cuts requested by the local distributors, and apparently, they refused so the local authorities withheld their distribution license. The same thing happened with Eternals.
The movie will still be released in the United Arab Emirates, which includes Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Censorship rules in the region frequently require amendments due to sex scenes, depictions of homosexuality, or over religious sensitivities.
For those of us still allowed to enjoy the movie, complete with added gayness, there is a new featurette for the movie that has just been released that shows cast and crew interviews, as well as some new footage.
Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness is due out May 6th.