Egypt and Kuwait are now the latest countries to ban Doctor Strange 2 (in the Multiverse of Madness). This is cited as the film featuring America Chavez, an openly gay character. IMAX Egypt announced on their official Twitter that the film would no longer be playing in the country. It has also been reported that Kuwait will also no longer screen the film.
— IMAX Egypt (@IMAXegypt) April 23, 2022
This news comes after Saudia Arabia has also banned the film for featuring an LLBGTQ+ character. All of the named countries possess a form of anti-LBGTQ+ legislation. Media featuring such is also heavily censored.
This is not the first Marvel film to face this kind of censorship. Eternals, which also featured openly queer characters, faced heavy censorship. However, there was an edited version later released that excluded the LBGT characters and scene. At the time, it is unknown if Marvel will release an edited version of Doctor Strange 2 (in the Multiverse of Madness) to avoid an outright ban.
Doctor Strange 2: Who is America Chavez?
Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta introduced America Chavez into the Marvel universe through the comics. In 2011, America first featured in the Vengeance #1 comics. As of now, she marks the first Latin American LBGTQ+ character for receiving a solo series. Recently, Casey has discussed the topic of America’s sexuality and how it will be depicted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In regards to America, he said:
This certainly isn’t unique to America Chavez. But I’ve always thought our superhero fiction should, in very fundamental ways, reflect our own reality. Unlike the Marvel characters originally seen in the early 1960’s comics, our current reality is multicultural. So more recently created Marvel characters like America Chavez and Miles Morales and Kamela Khan not only reflect the world in 202, they seem to have connected to a section of the fandom that, in one way or another, strongly identify with them.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will release in theaters on May 6th.