Angelina Jolie praises Marvel for refusing to cut same-sex scenes in ‘Eternals’ after movie is banned in Gulf countries

US actress Angelina Jolie poses on the red carpet upon arrival at the BAFTA British Academy Film Awards at the Royal Albert Hall in London on February 18, 2018. (Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)
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Muri Assuncao New York Daily News (TNS)

Angelina Jolie is praising Marvel for refusing to cut down scenes featuring a gay superhero in “Eternals,” after the movie was banned in several Gulf countries.

Earlier this week, The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that the latest sure-to-be-blockbuster superhero movie by the Marvel Cinematic Universe had been banned by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait.

According to the outlet, the ban came after censors allegedly made several edit requests to the studio — including the removal of a scene in which a character named Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) shares a kiss with his on-screen husband Ben (Haaz Sleima) — but those requests were denied.

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On Friday, Jolie was asked about the controversy when speaking with reporters during a press roundtable in Australia.

“I’m sad for (those audiences). And I’m proud of Marvel for refusing to cut those scenes out,” she told news.com.au. “I still don’t understand how we live in a world today where there’s still (people who) would not see the family Phastos has and the beauty of that relationship and that love,” added the Oscar-winning actress who plays warrior Thena in “Eternals.”

“How anybody is angry about it, threatened by it, doesn’t approve or appreciate it is ignorant,” the 46-year-old mother of five said.

Consensual same-sex relations between adults is a crime in 69 countries and territories around the world. They can also lead to the death penalty in Saudi Arabia.

Last year, Pixar’s “Onward” was banned in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia over a single line referencing a lesbian relationship, by a character voiced by Lena Whaite.

After facing criticism for a lack of LGBTQ representation in its movies, the studio confirmed in August 2019 that its upcoming star-studded film “Eternals” would feature the MCU’s first gay character: “He’s married. He’s got a family. And that is just part of who he is,” studio president Kevin Feige said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“Eternals,” directed by the Oscar-winning director Chloé Zhao, is now playing in theaters nationwide.

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