Marvel refuses to cut ‘Eternals’ gay kiss scene to avoid ban

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Angelina Jolie and Brian Tyree Henry star in Marvel’s Eternals

Angelina Jolie applauds Marvel for refusing to cut scenes featuring a gay superhero from her new film Eternals to appease homophobic censors in several countries.

Jolie is one of the stars of the movie about a race of immortal beings with superhuman powers who reunite to save the earth from evil creatures.

The film, directed by Oscar-winner Chloé Zhao, features a kiss between a same-sex couple, Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) and his husband, Ben (Haaz Sleiman); said to be a groundbreaking moment for the Marvel superhero franchise.

Megan Townsend, GLAAD’s Director of Entertainment Research & Analysis, applauded Eternals for the LGBTQ-affirming representation.

“Seeing a powerful gay superhero kiss his husband and feeling the reaction in that theater was a real-life example of why it is important for our stories to be told,” she wrote.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, however, the scene and the queer characters fell foul of officials in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait who demanded cuts to the film before it is allowed to be screened.

Marvel and its parent company, Disney, have surprisingly stuck to their guns and refused to make the edits.

During a press conference, Jolie was asked about the attempts to censor the film because of its gay content. “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. How anybody is angry about it, threatened by it, doesn’t approve or appreciate it is ignorant.”

Zhao recently revealed that she’d specifically requested that the studio not make any cuts to Eternals related to the LGBTQ-affirming scenes.

“There’s a big desire from Marvel and myself — we talked about this — to not change the cut of the movie. Fingers crossed,” the director told IndieWire.

Eternals is now in cinemas in South Africa.

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