Due to the appearance of transgender characters, Spielberg’s “West Side Story” was banned from being shown in certain countries

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Many media reported that Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries will ban the screening of Steven Spielberg’s latest work “West Side Story”.

Earlier last month, the movie “Eternals” was banned in many countries in the Middle East.

Just a month later, Steven Spielberg’s latest song and dance film “West Side Story” suffered the same fate.

Due to the appearance of transgender characters, Spielberg’s "West Side Story" was banned from being shown in certain countries

Allegedly, “West Side Story” failed to pass the censorship of multiple countries in the Middle East due to joining a transgender role.

The new version of “West Side Story” directed by Steven Spielberg is starring Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler.

The background of the story is set in the slums of New York in the 1950s. It tells the story of “Jets” led by white Riff and “Sharks” led by Puerto Rican Bernardo. These two gangs are at odds with each other.

“Sharks” and “Jets” cannot meet in the Gulf countries this time.

Steven Spielberg’s new “West Side Story” for “Competitive Oscars” will not be released in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait.

In Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, where the censorship system is the most stringent, the film failed to obtain a film distribution certificate.

Due to the appearance of transgender characters, Spielberg’s "West Side Story" was banned from being shown in certain countries

In other countries, the examiner requested the deletion of the “West Side Story” content, but this was rejected by Disney.

“West Side Story” was originally scheduled to be released on December 9th, local time, and will be broadcast simultaneously on all major movie websites.

Related Post: Can Steven Spielberg make a perfect remake of “West Side Story”?

Local sources revealed that “West Side Story” was banned because the role of Anybodys was adapted as a transgender character in the new film and played by queer actor Iris Menas.

As homosexuality is considered illegal in the Gulf region, movies with LGBTQ elements are often difficult to pass local censorship.

Due to the appearance of transgender characters, Spielberg’s "West Side Story" was banned from being shown in certain countries

As of now, this inference has not been confirmed.

As with “West Side Story”, the reviewer requested deletions from “Eternals”, and Disney initially did not agree to it.

In the end, after Disney deleted all intimate scenes, the film was released in cinemas in the UAE.

“West Side Story” was originally a Broadway classic musical that premiered in 1957, based on Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet”.

Due to the appearance of transgender characters, Spielberg’s "West Side Story" was banned from being shown in certain countries

The background of the story is set in the slums of New York in the 1950s, and the names of the protagonists in the play become Tony and Maria.

In 1961, Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins adapted the play into a musical film of the same name, starring Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer.

The film won ten awards including the Best Picture Award at the Oscars that year.

Due to the appearance of transgender characters, Spielberg’s "West Side Story" was banned from being shown in certain countries

The word-of-mouth ban on “West Side Story” has also been lifted, and the Rotten Tomatoes freshness rating is 93% (15 ratings) at the start, and the overall MetaCritic score is 86/100 (22 ratings).

“The Daily Telegraph” praised “West Side Story” as the best work of Steven Spielberg’s 20-year career and a new milestone for him.

Related Post: Spielberg’s “West Side Story” word-of-mouth ban is lifted: It’s a perfect remake!

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