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Friday, June 2, 2017

Lebanon's Naharnet reports:

Lebanese authorities banned the new "Wonder Woman" movie Wednesday hours before it was due to premiere in the capital and following a campaign against its lead actress, Gal Gadot, who served in the Israeli army, a security official and activists said.
On its front page Wednesday, the leading al-Akhbar newspaper had a column titled: "The Israeli soldier. She has no place in Lebanon." The column featured a picture of Gadot carrying her Wonder Woman shield.
That's how to boycott someone: put a photo of her on the front page!



The article also notes:

But many in Lebanon mocked the decision as censorship or a waste of time, pointing out the film could be viewed online.

"Liberating Palestine one movie at a time. #LiveLoveCensorship," wrote the Stop Cultural Terrorism in Lebanon group, which promotes freedom of expression.

- 'In typical Lebanese fashion' -

Blogger Elie Fares accused the government of inconsistency, pointing out that several of Gadot's movies have aired in Lebanon in past years.

"In typical Lebanese fashion and because we definitely have our priorities in order, Lebanon's government decided to rise up from its slumber and resist, even though the movie has been announced for over three years now," he wrote on his "A Separate State of Mind" blog.

"The fact of the matter is that if you have a problem with the content of a movie, the actor or actress leading it or anything pertaining to it... Simply don't go watch it," he added.

"Call for a boycott, but you sure as hell have no right in making sure no one else gets to watch it too."

Even though Lebanon enjoys a greater margin of freedom of expression than other countries in the region, with a thriving arts scene, prior censorship remains in place, particularly with content relating to Israel, religion and homosexuality.

But its interior ministry's censorship bureau occasionally bans content considered to incite confessional dissent, attacking morals or state authority, or to reflect Israeli propaganda.

So far, Lebanon appears to be the only Arab country to order a ban on Wonder Woman, which remains scheduled for release across the region including in Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia later this month.
The movie - and Gal Gadot -  are getting great reviews across the board.



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