Lebanon has officially banned Wonder Woman because of its lead Gal Gadot, who is Israeli.
The ban, which Variety reports was put in place roughly two hours before the film was meant to debut in the country, was decided upon by a six-member Ministry of Economy committee, after the film had gone through regular censorship procedures.
The country is officially at war with Israel and has a law that boycotts Israeli products and bars Lebanese citizens from travelling or having contact with Israeli citizens.
The Wonder Woman ban was announced on the official Twitter feed of Lebanon's Grand Cinemas chain, with several other sources confirming the news. It is the first of Gadot's films to be banned, as Fast and the Furious and Batman vs Superman were shown in Lebanon, despite the latter seeing protest from campaigners.
The group Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel-Lebanon praised the ministry's call to have the film banned, having launched a campaign to boycott the film to due to the fact Gadot served in the Israeli army and expressed support for Israeli forces as the country led a military offensive against Gaza.
"I am sending my love and prayers to [...] all the boys and girls who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas, who are hiding like cowards behind women and children...We shall overcome!!! Shabbat Shalom!" Gadot wrote in 2014.
Elie Fares, a well-known Lebanese blogger, has spoken up about the ban. "Resist what? A movie about an iconic superhero who’s been part of pop culture for over 70 years," he wrote. "A movie in which the lead actress happens to be Israeli or has served in the IDF or who is part of an apartheid state, but who’s not portraying ANYTHING related to her 'country' in any way whatsoever.".
"You’d think if they want their ban to make the least of sense, they’d have done it a year ago when the movie’s first trailer was released, not in the week of its release after it’s been given a green light, handling massive financial losses to the Lebanese company that won its distribution rights."
"What’s next, though? Banning every single movie that dares to be associated in any way with Israel? Banning every actor or actress who’s set foot in Israel? Deciding not to show any feature film that has any entity that remotely agrees with anything Israel does?"
Wonder Woman is in UK cinemas now.
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