The Media Regulatory Office announced that the animated film Lightyear, which is scheduled for release on 16th June, is not licensed for public screening in all cinemas in the UAE, due to its violation of the country’s media content standards. pic.twitter.com/f3iYwXqs1D— مكتب تنظيم الإعلام (@uaemro) 2022年6月13日
The office confirms that all films screened in cinemas across the country are subject to follow-up and evaluation before the date of screening to the public, to ensure the safety of the circulated content according to the appropriate age classification.— مكتب تنظيم الإعلام (@uaemro) 2022年6月13日
“Buzz Lightyear film banned from cinemas by UAE” https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-61786355
The BBC has contacted both the UAE government and Disney for comment.
The United Arab Emirates, a Sunni Muslim-ruled country, criminalises consensual same-sex sexual activity between adults.
In April, Saudi Arabia requested cuts to "LGBTQ references" in Disney's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness*5, which was ultimately not screened in the country*6.
Other films featuring gay storylines to have fallen foul of censorship around the world include Elton John biopic Rocketman. It was banned outright in Samoa and sex scenes from the hit 2019 movie were cut by a Russian distributor*7.
*2:See Josh Wilson “What The United Arab Emirates New Censorship Policy Means For The Film And TV Industry” https://www.forbes.com/sites/joshwilson/2021/12/29/what-the-united-arab-emirates-new-censorship-policy-means-for-the-film-and-tv-industry/
*3:https://movies.disney.com/onward https://www.disney.co.jp/movie/onehalf-magic.html See eg. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onward_(film) https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/2%E5%88%86%E3%81%AE1%E3%81%AE%E9%AD%94%E6%B3%95
*4:See eg. Andreas Wiseman “Disney/Pixar’s ‘Onward’ Banned In Multiple Middle East Countries Due To Lesbian Reference” https://deadline.com/2020/03/disney-onward-banned-multiple-middle-east-markets-lesbian-lgbt-reference-1202876168/
*5:https://www.marvel.com/movies/doctor-strange-in-the-multiverse-of-madness https://marvel.disney.co.jp/movie/dr-strange2.html See eg. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Strange_in_the_Multiverse_of_Madness https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%89%E3%82%AF%E3%82%BF%E3%83%BC%E3%83%BB%E3%82%B9%E3%83%88%E3%83%AC%E3%83%B3%E3%82%B8/%E3%83%9E%E3%83%AB%E3%83%81%E3%83%90%E3%83%BC%E3%82%B9%E3%83%BB%E3%82%AA%E3%83%96%E3%83%BB%E3%83%9E%E3%83%83%E3%83%89%E3%83%8D%E3%82%B9
*6:See eg. Alyssa Christian “Why is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness banned in Saudi Arabia?” https://culturess.com/2022/04/26/doctor-strange-in-the-multiverse-of-madness-banned-saudi-arabia/ Nick Duffy “Doctor Strange 2 will not be released in Saudi Arabia as Disney refuses to cut reference to lesbian parents” https://inews.co.uk/news/entertainment/doctor-strange-2-multiverse-of-madness-wont-release-saudi-arabia-disney-refuses-cut-reference-lesbian-parents-1596597
*7:See eg. Simon Brew “Rocketman banned in two countries, censored in Russia” https://www.filmstories.co.uk/news/rocketman-banned-in-two-countries-censored-in-russia/ Associated Press “Samoa bans Elton John biopic Rocketman over gay scenes” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/11/samoa-bans-elton-john-biopic-rocketman-over-gay-scenes