Actor Angelina Jolie says she's "sad" for the audiences who won't get to see her new Marvel film, "Eternals," after it was banned in several countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar, over a same-sex relationship.
"How anybody is angry about it, threatened by it, doesn't approve or appreciate it is ignorant," Jolie, who plays Thena in the film about a race of immortal superheroes, told the Australian news site news.com.au in a roundtable interview.
"And I'm proud of Marvel for refusing to cut those scenes out," she said. "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."
In the film, Phastos, who is played by Brian Tyree Henry, is married to Ben, played by Haaz Sleiman, who was born in Dubai. The pair share Marvel's first on-screen same-sex kiss.
In an interview with Variety, Sleiman called the film "life-saving" and said he wished he had seen a movie like it as a child.
"My god. I wish! Can you imagine how many lives this is going to be saving — kids, young queer folk, who are being bullied, committing suicide, and not seeing themselves being represented? And now they get to see this — it's above and beyond," he said.
"Eternals" will still be available in the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt, according to Deadline. However, the version screened in those countries will remove scenes featuring any intimacy between characters — both heterosexual and homosexual — Deadline reported.
It isn't the first time a Disney-owned property has been banned in some Gulf countries. Several countries last year banned Pixar's "Onward," which features an LGBTQ character voiced by Lena Waithe.
CORRECTION (Nov. 7, 2021, 7:35 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misspelled the first name of the actor who plays Phastos. He is Brian Tyree Henry, not Bryan.