Rabat – “Wonder Woman,” the highly anticipated superhero movie, will not be shown in Lebanon because the lead actress, Gal Gadot, previously served in the Israeli Army.
Just hours before the scheduled premier of the film in Beirut, Grand Cinemas, a theater chain in Lebanon, announced the ban on Twitter. For weeks, posters had promoted the film which was scheduled to be shown in a total of 15 theaters across Lebanon.
Although the film had passed screening procedures, it sparked outcry from the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel-Lebanon, a Lebanese group which described the movie as the “Israeli Soldier film.”
The label apparently references the actress Gal Gadot who plays Wonder Woman and is an Israeli citizen who had previously served in the Israeli army, as in mandatory for most Israeli citizens.
Lebanon shares its southern border with Israel and the relationship between the two countries has been marked by decades of conflict. In 2006 Israel and Lebanon fought war resting in 1,200 deaths most of whom were civilians. As a result of the strained diplomatic relationship, Lebanon officially boycotts products made in Israel and bar citizens from traveling there.
Although a statement from Lebanon’s Ministry of Economy states Gadot’s role in the film as the reason for the ban, Lebanon has not barred other films featuring Gadot including “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” and some of the “Fast and Furious” movies.
Despite the controversy in Lebanon, “Wonder Woman” will still be screened in counties across the Middle East including the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar.