The new blockbuster movie “Wonder Woman,” starring Israeli actress Gal Gadot, has been met with rave reviews internationally. However, the movie has just been banned in Lebanon.
Lebanese law stipulates a mandatory boycott on Israeli products and bars Lebanese citizens from traveling to Israel or having contact with them.
Nevertheless, Wonder Woman was set to premiere in Beirut on Wednesday and Lebanon’s Grand Cinema chain had planned to show the movie in 16 of its 18 cinemas.
These plans were scrapped following a concerted boycott campaign launched by the Lebanese Ministry of Economy and the Boycott Supporters of Israel-Lebanon organization.
Then, Lebanon’s Interior ministry reportedly “decided to ban the screening of this film based on the recommendation of the Arab League’s Israel Boycott Office.”
The boycott campaign, which had gained much traction on social media, played on the fact that Gadot served as an IDF soldier during the Second Lebanon War of 2006 between Israel and Hezbollah.
“The Israeli soldier. She has no place in Lebanon,” read a headline in the al-Akhbar newspaper on Wednesday.
Wonder Woman has nevertheless opened in other Arab countries as well as in Israel. It is now playing in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait and is set to open in Oman and Bahrain later this month.
Pointing out that the movie will be viewed online and on DVD, sales and distribution manager for Grand Cinemas, Isaac Fahed, told reporters that “The end result will only… affect the cinemas.”
“We sold many tickets and we had to cancel now,” Fahed said.
Warner Bros., which released the movie, has not commented on the ban, but the film’s producers ordered Gadot not to discuss it.
Israel’s Channel 2 had been granted an interview with Gadot to discuss her movie, and had asked her about the ban. While Gadot reportedly gave a frank answer, the producers ordered the channel to delete all reference to it.
In its own boycott at this censorship by the producers, Channel 2 refused to broadcast its interview with Gadot its entirety.