LGBTQ Moment In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Was Cut For Its Release In At Least One Country

Florence Kasumba as Ayo in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
(Image credit: Marvel)

This story contains a very small spoiler for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Watching the Marvel movies in order, you’ll notice that there is not much LGBTQ+ representation, however, in the last few years, there has been an effort to incorporate more LGBTQ+ characters into the MCU. With this addition though comes pushback from other countries who have asked the studio to cut representative scenes or ban the movie all together. And with Marvel’s latest release Black Panther: Wakanda Forever one small moment of affection between two women was cut from the film before its release in Kuwait.

As THR reported a “blink-and-you’ll-miss-it” moment between Ayo, Florence Kasumba's character, and Aneka, Michaela Coel’s character, shared a small moment of affection toward the end of the movie. This was one of a few moments from the Black Panther sequel that have been removed, which amounted to about a minute of cuts total. 

According to the report, Kuwait is the only territory to request cuts to the movie right now, and it’s expected to be released in its full form in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar. The article also noted that this decision is not all that surprising considering Kuwait has the strictest censorship guidelines in the region. Other cuts in recent years have included heterosexual kisses in a few films including Black Panther and Disney’s Encanto

This comes after a year of news surrounding countries banning films on the 2022 movie schedule or asking for cuts because of LGBTQ+ moments. Following Black Panther’s release in Saudi Arabia, which was the first movie to play in the country in 35 years, there have been cases of other Marvel and Disney movies getting cut or ban in the country. 

In April Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was banned in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The reason was that one of the film’s main characters, America Chavez, is a gay character, and has two moms. Due to the fact that homosexuality is illegal in parts of the Middle East, it’s not all that surprising that movies have been banned, or cuts have been requested. 

Marvel’s The Eternals was also pulled from theaters in the Middle East ahead of its release in 2021. The countries that pulled it were Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar. It’s not confirmed, but there is an openly gay character in the film, Phastos, played by Brian Tyree Henry, so it’s likely that was one reason it was not shown. 

Along with the Doctor Strange sequel and Eternals, Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story was banned in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait because there was a transgender character, who was played by Iris Menas, a nonbinary actor. 

Even though it was not banned, cuts from the film were asked to be made for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, one of which was the only moment of LGBTQ+ representation in the film. There are many characters in the MCU and in upcoming Marvel movies who identify within the LGBTQ+ community, and we’ll have to wait and see if countries ban more of them due to this representation.

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is a Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She spent many years working in local journalism across the country writing about art, news and sports. One of her favorite films is When Harry Met Sally and she walks around constantly quoting Ted Lasso.