Doctor Strange 2 Bans ‘An Expected Disappointment’ Says Benedict Cumberbatch


It was revealed not too long ago that Doctor Strange 2 has been banned in certain parts of the world due to its LGBTQ references, and Benedict Cumberbatch has since called these bans an “expected disappointment”.

He revealed this during a recent interview on the movie’s press tour (via Reddit).

Before we got into the weeds of what the movie’s star said, I’d like to discuss what’s happened with Doctor Strange 2 and its bans around the world.

It was revealed last week that the movie had been banned in Saudi Arabia and it all has to do with a 12-seconds scene in the film.

The cuts amount to “barely 12 seconds” in which a lesbian character, America Chavez, played by the actor Xochitl Gomez, refers to her “two moms”, according to Nawaf Alsabhan, Saudi Arabia’s general supervisor of cinema classification.

“It’s just her talking about her moms, because she has two moms,” Alsabhan said.

“And being in the Middle East, it’s very tough to pass something like this.”

Disney has refused to cut Doctor Strange 2 for Saudi Arabia release


Credit: Marvel Studios

Read more: Spider-Man 3 Will Feature Benedict Cumberbatch As Doctor Strange

Disney has refused to cut the scene from the movie and this has resulted in the film being banned entirely from the country.

I have to say that I’m actually quite impressed with Disney’s decision not to budge.

That said, Alsabhan disputed reports that the movie had been banned outright.

“It will never be banned,” he told Agence France-Presse.

“There’s no reason to ban the film. It’s a simple edit … So far they have refused. But we haven’t closed the door. We’re still trying.”

Benedict Cumberbatch not surprised by Doctor Strange 2 ban

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So, with all this said, what did Cumberbatch have to say about the movie potentially being banned in Saudi Arabia.

It is, I’m afraid, an expected disappointment. We’ve come to know from those repressive regimes that their lack of tolerance is exclusionary to people who deserve to be, not only included, but celebrated for who they are and made to feel part of a society and a culture and not punished for their sexuality. It feels truly out of step with everything that we’ve experienced as a species, let alone where we’re at globally more as a culture, but frankly it’s just even more reason why this isn’t tokenism to include an LGBTQ+ community member.

This character is that from the comics. It’s not something we’ve created for the sake of diversity. We’ve included her because of how awesome she is as a character. And that’s just one aspect of her character and that’s all it should be, but sadly, it’s also now, politically, very charged. And I wish it wasn’t. I wish we could be having a normalized conversation about this where it wasn’t an issue but we’re not. So we still have to fight. We still have to push for inclusion and equality and I’m very glad in a small, but on a very big canvas, Marvel and Disney are doing that.

What do you make of this news?

Are you looking forward to watching Doctor Strange 2 when it’s released on May 6th (May 5th in the UK)?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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  1. kay

    What Disney and Saudi Arabia is doing is the same thing. Neither has the moral high ground. If Disney’s movie had the LGBTQ character’s sexuality as it’s main plot, it would be justifiable to keep the reference in the movie. But as it is, it really is just placed in the movie as a nod to diversity. And Saudi Arabia, as well as the rest of the world that hides their heads in the sand and ignore the reality that the WHOLE world is populated with people of all different sexualities, need to come to terms with reality.

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