The latest installment of the Star Wars saga opened to global audiences this week, but some viewers were not permitted to see a lesbian kissing scene between background characters.
In Singapore and Dubai, Disney cut the same-sex kissing moment from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to meet with national laws that prohibit homosexuality.
Homosexuality is forbidden in Singapore and punishable by up to two years in prison. The country’s Infocomm Media Development Authority awarded the Singapore version of the film a PG-13 rating.
Dubai authorities also removed the kiss in a move that mirrored similar cuts made to other debuts in the United Arab Emirates. Martin Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street was cut so thoroughly that audiences reported being baffled by the final version.
The censorship comes the same year that UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced a “Year of Tolerance” campaign to highlight the country as a “global capital for tolerance.”
Disney took over the Star Wars series when it bought Lucasfilm in 2012 and has prioritized development. The Mandalorian, an series set in the Star Wars universe, debuted on Disney’s new streaming service Disney+ this year.
In China, where the film flopped, viewers were permitted to watch the lesbian kiss.
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