News

Lebanese ministry seeks to ban "Wonder Woman"

By Nur Iman Syasya


Lebanon seeks to ban "Wonder Woman" because of its lead actress.

31 May – Lebanon's Ministry of Economy has asked the country's security agency to ban the new DCEU movie "Wonder Woman" because its lead actress, Gal Gadot is an Israeli.

The ban was called for just yesterday, despite the fact that a "Wonder Woman" premiere has already been scheduled for 31 May in at least one cinema in Beirut and posters and digital billboards of the movie have already sprouted all over the Lebanese capital.

But the ban has not yet been made official since a formal request for a ban has not yet been received and there needs to be a recommendation from a six-member committee from the Ministry of Economy for the movie to be banned, an unnamed security official stated to the Associated Press.

The ban is being supported by the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel-Lebanon.

On their Facebook page, they have pointed out how Gadot is an ex-soldier of the Israeli army and a public supporter of their military policies.

It also cited that in 2014, Gadot praised Israel's military on their policies against the Gaza Strip, sending prayers to soldiers "who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas" on her Facebook page.

A member of the campaign named Samah Idriss had this to say about the ban: "The state took the right decision. We now await the implementation... Even if it's one hour before the show, they should ban it anyway."


"Wonder Woman" promoted in a cinema in Beirut, Lebanon
(Photo Source: AP Photo | Hussein Malla).

Though, it should be noted that the ban of "Wonder Woman" was not unanimously supported.

Lebanese supporter, Elie Fares pointed out how the movie must have already been approved to be allowed in theatres in the first place and that the call for a ban reflects disputes within the Lebanese government.

"Resist what?" wrote Fares. "A movie about an iconic superhero who has been part of pop culture for over 70 years. A movie in which the lead actress happens to be Israeli but who's not portraying ANYTHING related to her 'country' in any way whatsoever."

One of the boycott supporters, Idriss rebuffed critics by saying that politics is inseparable from art.

"We don't separate art - even romantic movies - from the role of the artist and the intellectual on the ground," Idriss said.


Gal Gadot as Diana Prince with co-star Chris Pine as Steve Trevor.

Lebanon is officially at war with Israel and, due to the animosity between the two countries, has a decades-old still-active law that boycotts all Israeli products and inhibits all Lebanese citizens from travelling or getting into contact with Israelis.

While Lebanon is considered to have one of the wider boundaries for freedom of expression among the other countries in the region, censorship still remains, particularly with content relating to Israel, religion and anything to suggest homosexuality.

There is even has a website called "The Virtual Museum of Censorship" that tracks artwork censored by Lebanon since the 1940s.

For instance, last year's Egyptian movie "Mawlana" was shown in Lebanon with multiple cuts because its main story revolved around a celebrity Muslim cleric and the Lebanese movie, "Beach House" about a group of friends discussing their identities was outright banned in Lebanon.

In 2013, the Arab League – a regional organization of Arab countries in and around North Africa – called for a ban on "The Attack", a terrorism drama that was shot in Israel despite it having been made by a Lebanese-born filmmaker, Ziad Doueiri.

In 2009, French comedian of Moroccan-Jewish descent, Gad Elmaleh declined participating in a Lebanon festival because of concerns for his safety after a TV station alleged he served in the Israeli army.

And in 2015, Miss Lebanon Saly Greige, was in hot water for being in a selfie with Miss Israel Doron Maralon in Miami. Greige late publicly apologise and clarified that Matalon photobombed her selfie.

So far, for the current case on "Wonder Woman", the movie is still set to be released on 1 June in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait. It will be released on 22 June in Oman and on 29 June in Bahrain.

"Wonder Woman" was already premiered in China and America and has received generally positive reviews.

Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot has earned acclaim for landing a leading role in a superhero movie, a rare occurrence for a woman.

Gadot is a model and former Miss Israel. She went through the mandatory two-year military service in Israel before she took on acting.

She landed small roles in a few TV shows and movies before she appeared as Gisele Yashar in three "Fast And Furious" movies, none of which were banned in Lebanon.

When she appeared as Wonder Woman in "Batman v Superman", the same campaigners sought to ban the movie from Lebanese theatres.

"Wonder Woman" is released today in Malaysia and Singapore and will be screening in cinemas on 2 June in Cambodia.

Cinema Online, 31 May 2017



Related Links:
Gal Gadot signs on for 3 films
Gal Gadot concentrates on "Wonder Woman"
Chris Pine eyed for "Wonder Woman"
"Wonder Woman" and "Dr. Strange" filming in London
Warner Bros reveals first still of "Wonder Woman" movie
"Wonder Woman" and "The Mummy" cancels London premiere
"Wonder Woman" has officially been banned from Lebanon
"Wonder Woman" director already has plans for a sequel
Two more countries calling for ban on "Wonder Woman"




Latest News:

August 2017
Will Smith delays "Suicide Squad 2" production  (31 Aug 2017)
Taron Egerton's "Robin Hood" delayed (30 Aug 2017)
How "BvS", "Wonder Woman" link to "Justice League"  (29 Aug 2017)
Ed Skrein exits "Hellboy" reboot after controversy (29 Aug 2017)
"Moonlight" actor to lead "The Equalizer 2" (25 Aug 2017)
Jackie Chan says his "The Foreigner" role is very different  (25 Aug 2017)
Joker-Harley Quinn film is the next "Suicide Squad" spinoff (24 Aug 2017)
Morgan Freeman wins SAG Life Achievement Award (23 Aug 2017)
The Joker to get an origin movie! (23 Aug 2017)
"Deadpool" baddie cast in "Hellboy" reboot (22 Aug 2017)
"Shaft" sequel lands lead actor (21 Aug 2017)
Obi-Wan Kenobi solo film is in the making (18 Aug 2017)
Tom Cruise's injury halts "MI:6" production  (17 Aug 2017)
"Tomb Raider" writer to pen "Captain Marvel" script (16 Aug 2017)
Lionsgate to open its first theme park in Jeju (16 Aug 2017)
tonton brings its content to Brunei (15 Aug 2017)
"Deadpool 2" stunt driver killed on set  (15 Aug 2017)
Tom Cruise's "Mission: Impossible 6" stunt goes wrong! (14 Aug 2017)
Leonardo DiCaprio to star in Leonardo da Vinci biopic (14 Aug 2017)
"Chaos Walking" welcomes Nick Jonas on board (12 Aug 2017)
Arnold Schwarzenegger's role in "Terminator 6" revealed (11 Aug 2017)
Katie Holmes to star in "The Secret" (10 Aug 2017)
Riz Ahmed in talks to join Tom Hardy in "Venom" (10 Aug 2017)
Disney content bids Netflix adieu (09 Aug 2017)
Milla Jovovich to join "Hellboy" reboot lineup  (09 Aug 2017)
James Wan's "Malignant" gets a new director  (08 Aug 2017)
Chris Pratt and Anna Faris announce separation (07 Aug 2017)
"Guardians' Inferno" music video passes 1 million views (07 Aug 2017)
Live-action "Aladdin" introduces new character (07 Aug 2017)
"Ex Machina's" director's next movie set for 2018 (05 Aug 2017)
Vanity Fair releases Angelina Jolie transcript (04 Aug 2017)
Rowan Atkinson's "Johnny English 3" starts production (04 Aug 2017)
First trailer of Angelina Jolie's Cambodian movie is out (03 Aug 2017)
Hannah Quinlivan to star in first Hollywood movie with this big celeb! (02 Aug 2017)
"Hellboy" reboot adds "John Wick" actor (02 Aug 2017)
John Cena joins the "Transformers" franchise (01 Aug 2017)

July 2017
Angelina Jolie debunks casting controversy  (31 Jul 2017)
"Suicide Squad's" Ike Barinholtz breaks neck in a stunt (27 Jul 2017)
Henry Golding nabs another major Hollywood role (27 Jul 2017)
Daniel Craig may be back for "Bond 25" (26 Jul 2017)
Anne Hathaway to play "Barbie"? (25 Jul 2017)
Michelle Pfeiffer joins "Marvel's Ant-Man 2" (24 Jul 2017)
Doctor Doom movie in the making (21 Jul 2017)
"Invasion of the Body Snatchers" gets fourth remake (20 Jul 2017)
World's biggest IMAX cinema opens in Seoul (19 Jul 2017)
"Power Rangers" star cast in live-action "Aladdin" (17 Jul 2017)
R. L. Stine's "Fear Street" to become a trilogy  (14 Jul 2017)
Lily James is added to "Mamma Mia" sequel (13 Jul 2017)
Early bird submission still open for SGIFF 2017 (12 Jul 2017)
Wife of Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee dies at 93 (07 Jul 2017)
"Fantastic Beasts" sequel starts filming! (04 Jul 2017)
Robert Downey Jr. gives reasons for quitting MCU (04 Jul 2017)

June 2017
Evan Peters' Quicksilver is back for another "X-Men" run (30 Jun 2017)
Michelle Rodriguez might say goodbye to "Fast and Furious" (29 Jun 2017)
"Avatar 2" utilises glasses-free 3D technology (28 Jun 2017)
Ben Affleck returns for "The Accountant" sequel (28 Jun 2017)
"John Wick" actor passes away at 56 (28 Jun 2017)
"Downton Abbey" heads to the silver screen  (26 Jun 2017)
"Jurassic World 2" has 'fallen' for a different name  (25 Jun 2017)
Han Solo movie officially gets new director!  (24 Jun 2017)
"Saw 8" has a not-so-puzzling new title  (23 Jun 2017)
New villain revealed for "Venom" (22 Jun 2017)
Daniel Day-Lewis retires from acting (21 Jun 2017)
Han Solo movie loses directors mid-project (21 Jun 2017)
Legendary monsters face off in "Godzilla 2"  (20 Jun 2017)
Fourth "xXx" movie is in the making  (20 Jun 2017)
Jackie Chan sole Chinese celebrity on Forbes' list (19 Jun 2017)
Gwyneth Paltrow is taking a break from acting (17 Jun 2017)
This Little Mix star could potentially play Jasmine  (16 Jun 2017)
"The Book of Life" sequel is in the works (16 Jun 2017)
Jessica Chastain might play an "X-Men" villain (15 Jun 2017)
The stars of "Baby Driver" are coming to Malaysia (15 Jun 2017)
Another "Conjuring" spinoff is being planned (15 Jun 2017)
"Dangal" is the 5th highest grossing non-English movie (14 Jun 2017)
Michelle Monaghan will be in "Mission: Impossible 6" (14 Jun 2017)
Fox is relocating its Asia Pacific operations to Singapore (13 Jun 2017)
Jack Black back for "Goosebumps" sequel (13 Jun 2017)
Japanese actress lands a 'key role' in "Deadpool 2" (13 Jun 2017)
Zhang Ziyi is going to be in the next "Godzilla" movie (09 Jun 2017)
Sony is making "clean" versions of their movies (09 Jun 2017)
Postponed again, "Amityville: The Awakening" is cursed? (08 Jun 2017)
Two more countries calling for ban on "Wonder Woman" (08 Jun 2017)
George Clooney becomes a father at 56! (07 Jun 2017)
Auditions open for teenage actors for "Fantastic Beasts" sequel (07 Jun 2017)
"The Mummy" director reveals two more Dark Universe monsters (06 Jun 2017)
"Crazy Rich Asians" brings in "Glee" alumni (06 Jun 2017)
"Wonder Woman" director already has plans for a sequel (05 Jun 2017)
Tom Cruise reveals "Top Gun 2" title (05 Jun 2017)
"Logan" actor was cut from "Beauty and the Beast" (03 Jun 2017)
Studio Ghibli is building a park for Totoro  (02 Jun 2017)
Dwayne Johnson and Angelina Jolie might appear in the Dark Universe (01 Jun 2017)
Hailee Steinfeld in talks to star in a "Transformers" spinoff  (01 Jun 2017)
"Wonder Woman" has officially been banned from Lebanon (01 Jun 2017)

May 2017
Priyanka Chopra will be in two more Hollywood movies (31 May 2017)
"Godzilla vs Kong" has found its director! (31 May 2017)
Lebanese ministry seeks to ban "Wonder Woman" (31 May 2017)
There's still hope for a "Spaceballs" sequel! (30 May 2017)
"Fast and Furious 8" speeds past USD1 billion overseas (29 May 2017)
"The Boss Baby 2" is already in the works (27 May 2017)
"Wonder Woman" and "The Mummy" cancels London premiere (26 May 2017)