Steven Speilberg’s “West Side Story” Banned In Several Countries


The long-awaited film “West Side Story” to be released later in the month has been banned in several countries.

The epic love story, set to be released on the 10th of December, will not be watched by people in some Middle East countries.

Steven Speilberg-directed adaptation of the classical musical has been banned in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait.

The film was banned because of Disney’s refusal to comply with cuts requested by censors while countries like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were not granted release certificates.


The film is rumoured to contain same-sex scenes.

Middle Eastern countries are known for their rigid policies on censorship regarding sexuality, swearing, and other aspects that oppose the cultural views of the people.

Disney and 20th Century’s portrayal of a transgender character played by a non-binary actor Iris Menas were such references that made the censorship boards ban the film.

Scenes in Marvel’s “Eternals” where Brian Tyree Henry’s character shares a kiss with his mortal husband was also cut from cinemas in the region for being contrary to the Middle East cultural views.

“West Side Story” is an adaptation of the original which comes 60 years after the initial broadway show of 1957. It features Rachel Zelger and Ansel Elgot as lovers, a romance that instigates a rivalry between street gangs; Jets and the Sharks.

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