Two hours before Wonder Woman was going to be shown in Lebanon, the country decided to ban the film because lead actress Gal Gadot is Israeli.
According to Variety, “the ban was prompted by a group called Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel – Lebanon, which pressured the government in Beirut to block the movie because lead actress Gal Gadot is Israeli.”
The ban was announced on the Twitter feed of Lebanon’s Grand Cinemas and was decided by a six-member committee of the Ministry of Economy. The film had already gone through the country's normal censorship procedures.
Oddly, other films starring Gadot such as Batman v Superman, Fast & Furious 6, Furious 7 and Triple 9 were allowed to play in Lebanon.
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The Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel – Lebanon said on its Facebook page that Gadot was a soldier in the Israeli army and praised Israel's actions in the 2014 war.
Wonder Woman is still scheduled to be released elsewhere in the middle east. Cairo-based film analyst Alaa Karkouti noted “The ban is really out of order because it’s not about content.”
“It’s not an Israeli actress in a film about Israel or about a sensitive political issue,” Karkouti added. “If this is Lebanon’s policy, then Lebanon should also stop participating in international film festivals where Israeli films are shown.”
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