A Lebanese anti-Israel group's years-long campaign to ban Gal Gadot movies seems to have gained some official traction this week, with the Lebanese Ministry of Economy calling for a boycott of Wonder Woman.
Gadot comes from Israel, and was a member of the Israeli armed forces before her move to Hollywood. Israel has mandatory military conscription for most of its citizens. Even after she became famous, Gadot has praised the Israeli military and their policies in Gaza. Those policies are controversial, and any time a major celebrity or political figure is outspoken in support of (or against) them, those fires are stoked again.
Lebanon is technically at war with Israel and has, for decades, had laws prohibiting traveling to or having contacts with Israelis. A group calling itself Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel-Lebanon are praising the Ministry's move; they previously attempted to get Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice banned in the country, although both that film and Gadot's Fast & Furious appearances have made their way to theaters.
Presently, an unidentified Lebanese official has told Mashable that there is no official ban in place; to prevent the film being screened, a six-member panel would have to recommend the decision, and so far that procedure isn't even started.
The decision to ban a movie -- not entirely uncommon in Lebanon -- would come from the interior minister, based on a recommendation from the aforementioned six-member committee. The nation enjoys more freedom of speech than some other countries in its region, but censorship is not uncommon when a film's themes speak to religion or homosexuality, the Mashable piece notes.
Some films, once banned, may be released after cuts are made -- but if Lebanon were to ban Wonder Woman due to Gadot's involvement it is not likely that any cut of the movie would clear the bar for approval, since Gadot is the film's main character.
So far, Lebanese theaters appear to be bracing themselves for the tentpole's release, with at least one theater in the country planning a premiere screening on Wednesday. Other nations in the region have scheduled release dates for the movie, including Thursday in United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait. Wonder Woman is scheduled for release June 22 in Oman and June 29 in Bahrain.
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