Angelina Jolie attends The Eternals UK Premiere. (Samir Hussein / WireImage)
Angelina Jolie said she was “sad” for the “ignorant” countries that have banned Eternals would have on its gay content.
The new film, which sees gay tech maverick Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first gay kiss, has been quietly shot across conservative Gulf countries, according to reports.
Angelina Jolie, who plays Thena, a member of the celestial superhuman race known as the Eternals, said she was “proud of Marvel” for “refusing to cut these scenes.”
“I still don’t understand how we live in a world where there is still [people who] wouldn’t see Phastos’ family and the beauty of that relationship and that love, ”Jolie, 46, said. News.com.au.
“How someone is angry about it, threatened by it, doesn’t approve of it or appreciate it, is ignorance.
“I am sad for [those audiences]. And I’m proud that Marvel refused to cut those scenes.
Disney-owned Marvel has seen its latest star-studded blockbuster face the cutting board in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait. Local censors in the countries have sought to cut a kiss between Henry’s Pastos and her on-screen husband, played by Haaz Sleiman.
The studio has yet to confirm or comment on the claim, but sources have told multiple media outlets that the same-sex kissing has proved controversial for local censors. A regional cinema chain confirmed that the film was “banned” – but no explanation was provided.
In Singapore, Eternals was slapped with an M18 certificate, limiting audiences to those aged 18 or older, becoming the first MCU film in the region to receive such a rating.
The Infocomm Media Development Authority, a media regulator, said the note was the result of “homosexual references.” However, the film features a sex scene between two heterosexual characters.
Eternals Director Chloe Zhao had long expressed her desire not to change or cut scenes to appeal to regional censors.
“I don’t know all the details, but I think discussions have taken place,” she said. IndieWire, “and there’s a great desire from Marvel and I – we’ve talked about this – not to change the cut of the film.”
Sleiman, who revealed his homosexuality in 2017, said the queer performance scenes “saved lives,” he told Variety.
“Can you imagine how many lives this will save – children, young gay men, who are bullied, commit suicide and go unrepresented?”
“And now they can see it – it’s above and beyond. “