If you’ve been keeping up with international news, or are just super excited about the upcoming release of the live-action Beauty & the Beast film you know that it’s already causing controversy overseas; the character of Le Fou has been speculated to be portrayed as gay in the upcoming Disney film, and it’s not going down well.
Apparently the movie features a scene where Le Fou shares a dance with Gaston, who he allegedly has feelings for. This scene alone has led an Alabama theatre to cancel its release, and Russian MPs have been considering following suit.
So far, Egyptian media-police haven’t caught on and the film is set to show from March 17. However, there are plenty of films that were banned in the country, and for questionable reasons (usually something to do with Jews). See for yourself.
During the production of this film in 1967 the Egyptian-Israeli Six Day War broke out, and the fact that Egyptian film star Omar Sharif was co-starring with prominent Jewish actress Barbara Streisand caused a lot of controversy. Sharif was publicly condemned in Egyptian news media for acting with– and kissing –a Jew, and hence the film was banned.
The Matrix Reloaded
The ‘official’ reason the sequel to The Matrix was banned is because of excessive violence. However, the real reason is because newspapers had criticised the initial film for promoting Zionism , while others objected to the character, The Creator (pictured above), for being presented as a God.
The heartwarming film based on Charles Dickens’ story was banned from showing in Egyptian cinemas because authorities felt the portrayal of Fagin, a Jew, elicited sympathy.
The Da Vinci Code
Both the bestselling book and film were banned by Coptic members of the parliament and deemed blasphemous because of the speculation that Jesus may have been married and had children, whose descendants live in current society.
Exodus: Gods and Kings
The 2014 film starring Christian Bale showed a portrayal of Moses, depicted the pyramids being built by Jews and cast Western actors in Middle-Eastern roles; three strikes and that film was out.
The Prince of Egypt
This Dreamworks Pictures children’s movie was banned in Egypt because of the portrayal of Moses and its ‘manipulation’ of Egyptian history.
The movie depicting the life of the former president was banned because the actor portraying Anwar Sadat was a PoC (i.e. black) and because it ‘distorted’ historical Egyptian events. In fact, Egypt banned all Columbia Pictures’ films due to the outrage.
After converting to Judaism following her third husband’s death and having bought $100,000 worth of Israeli bonds in 1959, Elizabeth Taylor’s upcoming film Cleopatra was banned from being shown upon its release, as were all of Taylor’s films. However, in 1964 the ban was dropped because the constant mention of Egypt in the film was thought to be good publicity and possibly increase tourism.
Do you think these movies should have been banned? Let us know in the comments!
By Salma Thanatos Rizk