Barbie film ban for promoting homosexuality by hardline Middle East nations

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    Barbie is going from strength to strength following a huge opening weekend at the box office – but it has caused fury in some parts of the world.

    After first hitting screens last month, the film, directed by Greta Gerwig, has smashed records, becoming the fastest film to gross $1billion (£784m) in just 17 days.

    This broke Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2's record of taking 19 days to gross the same amount in cinemas.

    READ MORE: Sweaty Margot Robbie makes obscene gesture after beating off Barbie cast in plank trial

    It also was the first film in history directed solely by a woman to reach the benchmark.

    But despite the success the film is having worldwide, some countries have opted to ban the film outright.

    The Middle Eastern countries of Lebanon and Kuwait chose to restrict the film's showings for fear of promoting homosexuality to a wider audience.

    In both countries, male homosexuality is illegal, with men who are caught or even suspected of being gay potentially facing a jail sentence.

    For LGBTQ+ Lebanese men, being convicted of homosexuality can lead to a year in prison, whereas in Kuwait, the penalty can range anywhere from a fine to up to six years in jail.

    Lebanon's culture minister moved to ban the film from cinemas on Wednesday (August 9), saying that the queer themes in the film could lead to "an imminent danger" for the country.

    He added that the movie's morals "contradicts values of faith and morality", believing that the traditional family idea would be put at risk by the film, which was due to hit screens there at the end of August.

    Interior Minister for the country, Bassam Mawlawi asked censors in the country to review the film and give their recommendations on the future of the movie's screening.

    Similarly in Kuwait, the Ministry of Information said on Wednesday that the film promotes ideals and beliefs "that are alien to Kuwaiti society and public order".

    This is despite the fact that there are no explicit scenes where same-sex relationships are publicly shown in the film.

    Other countries in Asia have also voiced their concerns for the film, with Vietnam banning the film for its inclusion of a map allegedly showing China's control of the South China Sea.

    Whereas in the Phillippines opting to blur the map with the country's disputed territory in the area.

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