Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse banned in UAE

Ban comes one week ahead of Spider-Man film’s intended release in the region

Peony Hirwani
Friday 16 June 2023 06:38 BST
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse - trailer

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has been banned in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after failing to pass the country’s censorship requirements.

The ban comes a week ahead of the film’s intended release in the region.

According to Variety, the reason behind this ban could be due to a scene featuring a poster background that depicts the transgender flag and reads “Protect Trans Lives”.

The UAE criminalises same-sex sexual activity between men and between women.

According to Human Dignity Trust, “the gender expression of trans people is also criminalised” in the country and sentences for perpetrators include a maximum penalty of death.

Same-sex sexual activity is prohibited under the Criminal Codes of the Emirates of Abu Dhabi, which criminalises “unnatural sex with another person”, and in Dubai, which criminalises acts of “sodomy”.

People may also be punished under the Sharia law, under which the death penalty is possible, though there’s no evidence that this has been used against LGBT+ people in the country so far.

In addition to the above laws, trans people may also face prosecution under UAE’s Federal Penal Code 1987, which criminalises a “male disguising as a female” with a maximum penalty of one-year imprisonment and a fine.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse isn’t the only film that has been banned in the UAE.

Last year, Disney and Pixar’s Lightyear was also banned in the country due to a scene depicting a same-sex kiss between two space rangers.

In addition to the UAE, the film was also banned from Malaysia, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has grossed around $400m worldwide in just over 12 days into its cinematic run.

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