Kuwait has announced a ban on the Barbie Movie in a bid to protect “public ethics and social traditions”, officials have said.
The ministry also banned the Australian supernatural horror film Talk to Me on similar grounds.
“Barbie” and “Talk to Me” both “promulgate ideas and beliefs that are alien to the Kuwaiti society and public order”, Lafy Al-Subei’e, head of Kuwait’s cinema censorship committee, told the official KUNA news agency.
The film by Warner Brothers has topped $1bn in box office ticket sales worldwide since its debut.
On the other hand, in Lebanon, Culture Minister Mohammad Mortada said on Wednesday he had asked authorities to ban “Barbie” for purportedly “promoting homosexuality”, though the film does not contain any overt references to same-sex relationships or queer themes.
However, the “Barbie” film is being shown in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain.
The film “Talk to Me”, which is shown in Emirati and Saudi theatres, features Australian transgender actor Zoe Terakes in the lead role but no explicit LGBTQ references.
“Our film doesn’t have queer themes,” Terakes said in a statement posted on social media last week after the ban was first reported.
“I am a trans actor who happened to get the role. I’m not a theme. I’m a person,” added Terakes who identifies as non-binary.