A ten-second scene hinting at a same-sex romance between two characters in Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has reportedly been cut in Kuwait. The film was released in theatres this Friday and as per reports, the scene is not part of the theatrical cut playing in the Middle-Eastern country. However, other reports have claimed that several other notoriously censor-prone countries have retained the scene. Also read: Chris Evans says people being offended by Lightyear’s same-sex kiss are ‘idiots’
The scene in question involves two members of Wakanda’s all-female military unit –Dora Milaje. The scene Michaela Coel’s Aneka and Florence Kasumba’s Ayo share a brief tender moment after a battle where one kisses the other on the forehead, calling her baby. The scene does not explicitly state anything beyond this and the relationship isn’t referenced anywhere else in the film.
An article in The Hollywood Reporter says the version released in Kuwait does not include this exchange. There are a few other minor edits as well, including a line where M’Baku describes the film’s villain Namor as ‘a god to his people’.
Why the first omission is interesting is that the same reports say that other countries in the Gulf region, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, and Qatar continue to screen the film unedited. All these nations have a history of censoring LGBTQ content and references from cinema and TV shows. Marvel and Disney have so far not commented on the omission.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opened in theatres this Friday. The film earned $84 million on its opening day in worldwide gross, beating the first Black Panther film by $3 million. It remains on course to potentially register a $200-million opening weekend. The Ryan Coogler film stars Letiti Wright, Angela Bassett, Dominique Thorne, Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kaluya, and Martin Sheen, with Mexican actor Tenoch Huerta making his Hollywood debut as the villain Namor.
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