Greta Gerwig’s critically praised Barbie film will be banned in Lebanon because it “calls for the rejection of patriarchy.”
Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling feature in the major roles, with everyone from Dua Lipa and John Cena to Will Ferrell filling up the supporting ensemble.
It has been enormously successful, grossing over $1 billion (£790 million) at the box office in the three weeks since its July 21 release.
However it is now set to be banned in Lebanon – having already been banned in Kuwait – for what the Lebanese culture minister described as ‘promoting homosexuality and sexual transformation.’
Mohammad Mortada said the film ‘contradicts values of faith and morality,’ adding that it ‘goes against moral and religious values in Lebanon, as it encourages perversity and gender transformation while calling for the rejection of patriarchy and ridiculing the role of mothers.’
Reuters reports that Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi has since asked the censorship committee to ‘review the film and give its recommendation.’
Barbie was supposed to visit theatres in the Middle East on July 19, but it was postponed until the end of August owing to LGBTQ+ content that needed to be reviewed in ultra-conservative nations.
Kuwait has already banned the film, with a spokesperson for the Kuwaiti Ministry of Information saying it ‘promulgates ideas and beliefs that are alien to Kuwaiti society and public order,’ according to the official Kuna news agency.
There are no overt references to same-sex relationships or characters in Barbie.
Despite the prohibitions, Barbie made history when Gerwig became the first single female filmmaker in history to have a picture gross more than $1 billion globally.
It surpassed Wonder Woman, directed by Patty Jenkins in 2017, as the highest-grossing picture directed by a woman.